Tag Archive | real life

Maytag Neptune Unleashes Kraken in Laundry Room. News at Eleven.

Go home, Washing Machine. You're Drunk.

Image from reddit. I presume it came from somewhere else first. #memeappropriation

My day so far:

  • Feed and take care of Business with my dog.
  • Pour coffee, open news feed.
  • Mom and her dog come downstairs. Feed and take care of Business w/both dogs.
  • Warm up coffee, reopen sleeping news feed.
  • Mom starts laundry.
  • Ungodly noise from washer.
  • Bang around on washer. Seems to still be working?
  • Cross fingers
  • Ungodly noise continues.
  • Throw out first coffee. Pour fresh mug.
  • Give up on news, open work email.
  • Ungodly noise continues.
  • Open WIP file. Put on headphones and white noise.
  • Ungodly noise stops. So does washing machine.
  • Look up error code online. Curse.
  • Look up service manual online–Maytag has discontinued washer and does not keep that SM online. Curse.
  • Google “Washing Machine Repair.”
  • Look up bank balance.
  • Curse.
  • Explain to Mom she will have to go to Laundromat.
  • Explain Laundromats have improved since 1975.
  • Open WIP file. Put on headphones and white noise.
  • Stop and look up Laundromat with excellent Yelp Reviews.
  • Open WIP file.
  • Stop and look up directions to Laundromat with excellent Yelp reviews.
  • Open WIP file.
  • Stop and tote Mom!laundry to Mom!car. Instruct her not to try and carry into laundromat all in at once so as not to hurt herself.
  • Realize Mom will ignore me.
  • Realize there’s nothing I can do about it.
  • Open WIP file.
  • Sit in quiet, peaceful house and stare at screen.
  • Stare some more.
  • Blog about this like it’s important.

The thing about setting up house is that because you get most of your appliances at the same time, they will inevitable start needing repair about the same time.

That’s the only Profound Truth I have for you this morning.

Leonardo’s To Do List and Michelangelo’s Groceries

I really like lists.

Leonardo da Vinci's To Do List circa 1490 (direct translation, amendments in brackets by Robert Krulwich). Illustration by Wendy Macnaughton for NPR. Original Article here.

Leonardo da Vinci’s To Do List circa 1490 (direct translation, amendments in brackets by Robert Krulwich). Illustration by Wendy Macnaughton for NPR. Original Article here.

Lists, timelines, graphs, charts…not because I’m the most methodical of people, but precisely because I’m not. There’s always a lot going on in noggin, and it’s not terribly orderly in there. The big ideas are kind of wibbly wobbly all over time and space, and the little idea are sort of this gnat like cloud around my head.

I’ve always kept a sort of catchall journal. My packing list for World Con will be right next to my character notes for Splendor Falls and a (terrible) sketch of the layout of Bluestone Hill.  A reminder to get dog food is on the back of the page that has the Goodnight family tree which is next to my notes about who I’m going to vote for in the next election. It’s a little willy nilly, but it’s the way I’ve done it for ten years, and the notebooks are lined up on my shelf.

Recently, as part of an ongoing quest not to forget so many things, I’ve been on a quest to find The Perfect System that works with my system. The smartphone is great, because there’s nothing like something that will ding at you. But there’s also nothing like paper for permanence. In college, I used to study by rewriting my class notes into a neat outline. By the time I was done, I knew the material. I am much more likely to remember something I write by hand than enter in my phone. (Which is not to say I’ll remember it, just that I’m more likely.)

There’s the idea of physical permanence, too. When I look through a previous year’s notebook, it’s interested to see where my head was at a particular moment, or what I was dealing with while I wrote X book, or what I thought was important to remember from Y conference. I’ve found ideas jotted down on paper napkins, and business cards from people I’ve met (sometimes I’ll even remember who they were). Sometimes I’m impressed with my brilliance. Sometimes I wonder why on earth I though I needed to pack three sweaters to go to Alabama in October.

I remember finding a stack of letters that a great-great-aunt wrote in the early 19th century. Genealogy is great, but reading Audrey describe her train trip to Palacios and ask if Rosemary (!!) has recovered yet from her cold, made her a real person.

Da Vinci's packing list.

Da Vinci’s packing list. “Get hold of a skull.” (Image from an article in The Daily Mail)

The illustration at the top is a direct translation of a recently discovered (well, recent in 2011) “to do list” jotted down by Leonardo da Vinci. I mean, that guy wrote everything down. But It makes me happy to know sometimes he wrote it down just for himself.

Da Vinci’s notebooks are a record of his genius and all, but this packing list sketches a more personal picture. No pun intended. (Okay, yeah, pun totally intended.) “Spectacles with Case. Human skull. Nutmeg.” I’m sorry, but how awesome is it that “nutmeg” seems like the oddest thing on this list.

Michelangelo's Shopping List (image credit: Casa Buonarroti)

Michelangelo’s Shopping List (image credit: Casa Buonarroti)

Then there’s Michelangelo’s grocery list, which he had to illustrate because his servant couldn’t read. Let’s just think about that for a sec. This is a grocery list illustrated by the painter of the Sistine Chapel. And we know he liked herring and anchovies. Yum.

Not that I’m comparing myself to Leonardo or Michelangelo (even in a Mutant Ninja Turtle sense). I’m not jotting things down for posterity… just to remember them after I’ve slept and cleared the data banks.

I mean, I have to do something so I can get on with the business of being a genius!

Edited to add: I came across this in my quest for the Perfect System. (Pinterest, incidentally, was so helpful that it was not helpful.) Twelve types of journals you can keep. 

Are you a lister? Is yours one of those planners covered in colored pen and washi tape? What kinds of things do you like to write down? (Typing counts, too!)

Spring Spring Spring

In the spring I always get the urge to: 

  • Redecorate my house. 
  • Redesign my blog. 
  • Plant flowers. 
  • Ride a bike everywhere. (After I buy one.) 
  • Go to a farmer’s market.
  • Cook all organic fresh meals. (After I spend all my money on the bike and farmer’s market.)
  • Train my dog.
  • Dye my hair.
  • Sew adorable, quirky clothes that look I share a closet with Zooey Deschanel. (Because I certainly can’t afford to buy them. It’s expensive to look like you shop in a thrift store.)
  •  Learn the guitar.
  • Run around like Rapunzel after she gets out of the tower.

Which is weird, because I live where we don’t have an especially long or cold winter. Our winter weather is kind of on-again, off-again, so it’s not like I’ve been cooped up behind snowdrifts or anything. But real spring just feels different. I think it’s the daffodils and the tulips. 

Flowers and Bike

That’s why March is my favorite month, besides October. (October has the edge because its not a precursor to the summer heat.)  Despite the fact that weather is a roulette wheel. Despite the fact that it’s tornado season. Despite the fact that my roof is leaking again. 

ANyway. The only thing on that list I’ve done is change my color scheme. I never thought I’d get tired of pink and green, but I did. It wasn’t terribly gothic for a ghost story writer anyway. 

What do YOU like to do in the spring?  Tell me in the comments.  You can weigh in on whether I should keep the polka dots or get rid of them, too. 

On the Second Day of Christmas…

So, the Christmas report.


Here’s my Christmas Tree, with Mom’s present under it. I sort of love that it looks like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. We also had an Advent wreath this year:


Sweet, right? Only yesterday I realized I didn’t have a candle holder for the white candle in the middle, the one you light for Christmas Day. So I improvised:


Yes, that’s a jigger from my drinks cabinet. I am an Ecclesiastical Maguyver.

We’ve had a very Dutch Christmas. Been enjoying ontbijkoek for breakfast (and tea and more), but Mom bought this special pastry for Christmas morning: basically marzipan wrapped in pastry. OMG two of my favorite holiday things.


Only when I went to bake it, I discovered the instructions were in Dutch:


I do not read much Dutch (and I speak even less). But there were enough similar words and context that I could work out I was supposed to warm it up in the oven for about ten minutes. But most important: NIET VERWARMEN IN DER MAGNETRON!!


Oh my God, I didn’t even know I HAD a magnetron. How awesome is that. From not on, I’m not calling my microwave anything else.

Here’s what else I had: A hot dog in a blanket:


So, new house, new traditions, and I’ve bored you with my holiday snaps. My holiday is now complete.

One Claw Foot Tub Away From Perfection

LAST week I posted that I’d sold my house.   Yay!

But I didn’t have anywhere to move to.  So I was operating on Contingency Plan B, which was to store everything and stay with my Grandmother until we found the right house.

Which was no where in sight.

So might take awhile.

I'm fine. Really.

I’m fine. Really.

But guess what???  I found a lovely townhouse that’s just perfect for Mom and I.  Great location, near a park, split bedroom arrangement for privacy (a necessity for any roommate situation, times a thousand when it’s your mom).

And look! This is going to be my bathroom!

All this needs is a claw foot tub and it is the bath of my dreams.

Don’t laugh, but I have always wanted a bureau sink. And also, a claw foot tub. This is even painted my favorite color. It is one claw foot tub away from perfection.


We’re going to be out of this big huge house, and I will only have to clean and air condition one third the square feet.


One THIRD the square feet.

One. Third. The. Size.

One. Third. The. Size.

Anyone want any furniture?

So, in three weeks, I’ll be in a new house.   This has been a year of serious upheaval and change, but this new house—manageable size, closer to my friends, ready to fill with new, happy memories—is a major milestone.  I won’t even say it’s the light at the end of the tunnel, because I don’t see it as an end at all, but a launching pad for lots of awesome things.

Hail to the awesome!

(Also, I’m serious about the furniture thing.)


Things that make me happy

It’s been a rough couple of weeks at Casa Del Clement-Moore.  So to remind myself that Life is Good, today I am posting about Things That Make Me Happy.

1) My family and friends. I know this is cliche, but it’s true. Read the dedication of Spirit and Dust (you HAVE pre-ordered your copy, right?) and you’ll know how I feel. Family is a thread that runs through my books for a reason. I have a good one, and that includes the family I’ve chosen for myself in my friends.

2) Young readers.  Okay, yeah, I wouldn’t have a job without them. But the enthusiasm of young readers is unrivaled. Look at this bunch from TLA last week:

Brimstone has these readers absolutely captivated!

Brimstone has these readers absolutely captivated!

3) Knitting.  I got bit by the knitting bug big time. How lucky am I that it’s trendy right now?  I’m going to do this Spring Knit-Along if anyone wants to join me. On top of all the other projects I’ve got going. (And, you know, writing and stuff.)

4) Travel. I’m going to England in three weeks. I haven’t been talking about it, because it’s like I’ve won the  lottery. (I’ve definitely won the friend lottery.) More on that to come. First…

5) I get to do what I love, and what I’m best at, and I get to do it as my job.  Talk about winning the lottery!

I just got a big box of Spirit and Dust! Tell me in the comments what makes YOU happy, and on Friday I will draw one commenter to win a copy! 

Truth vs Fiction

Recently, for reasons that I will let you wonder about, I have begun a vain attempt to wedge a small gap between Rosemary Clement-Moore the (amazing! talented!) author of (award-winning!) books and what let’s call, for purposes of this post, “Private Life Rose.”

Here’s the first problem with that process. There IS no part of me that is not a writer. I wrote stories before I ever dreamed anyone but my friends would read them, without an inkling how you became an author AS A JOB. Heck, even my Barbie dolls were always going on space-faring, dragon-slaying, Evil Empire Defeating adventures. (The Barbie Mobile Home, with just a little paint and some decals, made a great Millennium Falcon.)

Those of you who do any kind of art–heck, those of you who dance, or play sports, or weave baskets underwater know what I mean.  What you love to do is intrinsic to who you are. Private Life Rose is still a storyteller and nothing short of a brain transplant would change that. 

However, there’s a difference between the writer/artist and RCM the Published Author who doesn’t really want people to know that all her efforts to house train her latest dog have met with utter failure. (Oops. Now you know.)

So there’s that. I had an online social life long before I had to think about things like a professional image or an author “brand.”  Pretty much, what you see is what you get with me. The only difference is that online, I have the benefit of a delete key which saves me from posting things that I have a tendency to blurt out when I’m in public.  So it’s not that I’m a *different* person online. But I am slightly more edited.

That doesn’t mean I’m fake, just that I’m aware if I say something like “I have to pee like a racehorse” in person, it’s not going to be preserved forever on the Internet. Though that’s not really true anymore, because anyone can Tweet: Ha! @rclementmoore just said she has to pee like a racehorse!

Which is the other thing. In the WiFi world we live in, we–all of us, not just people with a professional public image–are not entirely in control of our online content. If I’m at an event, anyone can take my picture. And it’s a sure bet, the one where I’m making a face like this… 


…will be the one that ends up tagged on Facebook. (There was this time I was at a party at a convention and I was telling a story. Someone snapped a pic. Not a big deal, except that (a) I was standing in front of All The Liquor Bottles In Texas and (b) I was making a weird face so that I look like I had drunk All the Liquor in Texas.

Which I hadn’t.

Not that night, anyway. 

I don’t care that you guys know I drink. But I would like you to think I look adorable when I do. 

Though I actually like this one, where Sarah Rees Brennan is looking at me like I’m crazy and she can’t move far enough away without causing an inter-author incident.

Sarah Rees Brennan and Rosemary Clement-Moore at a Smart Chicks Kick It event.

One of us is saying something incredibly witty and droll here. I swear.

Which if you’ve ever talked to Sarah Rees Brennan, or seen one of her dramatic book reenactments, is kind of ironic, her looking at anyone this way.  (I adore Sarah, and UNSPOKEN is one of my favorite books of 2012.) 

So… Where was I?  Oh yeah. Online vs. Offline. 

It’s not so much that I care to keep my Offline Life a secret from readers. What you see is what you get with me. You know my mom lives with me (or me with her, depending on who you ask). That my dog is a revenge pee-er. That I’ve rented my upstairs apartment to Sister Maria Von Trapp. (Minus the singing.) 

That I was a nerd long before it was cool, back when I had to keep it a secret or get beat up after school. 

It’s not even that I worry about someone from college showing up on my blog and posting in the comments: Hey! Rosie*! Remember that time you drank All The Liquor In Texas and we had to carry you home on your shield? 

It’s far more likely that someone will show up and say: Hey! Remember when you wrote all that Mary Sue Star Wars fan fiction in junior high?  Or I’ll get a Tweet from my mother that says: Hey, little missy! Remember to pick up toilet paper while you’re at #Target! 

That last one will never happen. My mother doesn’t know how to use hashtags. 



*If you ever call me Rosie, in person or online, I will never speak to you again.