Long story, but suffice to say, @nalohopkinson on Twitter is no longer me. Under that name, you'll find some kind of spammy get-rich-quick scheme. I'm now using the Twitter handle @Nalo_Hopkinson, and you can find my Twitter posts here. Yes, I've probably done everything you could think of to suggest. I'm also in the process of appealing to Twitter. So far, they seem to be of the opinion that simply using the same name as another person isn't theft. However, my name is unique in the world, and as a sole proprietor and author, it is my brand. Someone else who uses it is, for all intents and purposes, claiming to be me. I will keep plugging at this. Wish me luck.
Today, what with the wrist brace, the arch supports, the bunion cushioning, and the usual foundation bra, I feel like nothing so much as a collection of mechanical supports cinctured around a fleshly integument.
Yet, perhaps counterintuitively, I feel like dancing. Have been working out choreography in my head to "Do It Like A Dude."
I could have scheduled this day better, is all I'm saying. But I'm having so much fun! Plus, walking back from the radio station, a plot insight I had last night about Blackheart Man opened up into a characterisation insight on my protagonist, and loose ideas for a bunch of new scenes to write.
The wrist I injured a week ago has been feeling much better today. It's still a bit swollen, but nowhere near as painful, and I can type again.
I declared this weekend one of forbidden foods. In other words, foods that aggravate my fibromyalgia and that I mostly avoid. I've been taking advantage of the temporary shift in diet to practise making French macarons. No, not macaroons. Those are made with shredded coconut. Macarons are made by combining meringue (whipped egg whites & sugar) with ground almonds to make little cookie sandwiches which are then filled with, for instance, flavored buttercream. Macarons are crunchy on the outside, a little chewy farther in, and then sweet and creamy at the centre. And addictive. There are only a few steps to making them, but they are finicky. It usually takes a few tries to get the hang of making a delicate meringue that's slightly glossy and perfectly smooth on top, not cracked or overly browned. Today was my fifth try. Here's how mine, alas, did not look:
But I'm getting closer. I'm finally getting something that looks more or less like macarons, though cosmetically, they are flawed; rough and matte on top, some of them cracked, many of them too browned, and none of them have the characteristic "feet" of a perfect macaron. But they look approximately right, and they taste delicious. There's a pic below. I made three flavours of buttercream filling; lime (added lime juice & zest), ginger (infused with fresh grated ginger), and balsamic sour cherry (sour cherry preserves mixed with cherry bordeau balsamic vinegar).
GLUTEN-FREE LEMON RAISIN COOKIES
(Typing thanks to Windows Speech Recognition)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spent the evening mocking up a page for the comic I'm oh, so very slowly working on. Just to give myself a sense of how I might use my source images. (I plan to use a lot of historical ephemera.) It felt as though I was cheerfully wasting time, but then I realized that this is my work. Sometimes I remember that I have one of the best jobs ever.
I've been working for about an hour, but I doubt I've even written 200 words. Microsoft speech recognition and I are trying to train each other. It's being a job of work. Look at that! It got "job of work" in one go, but I still can't get it to understand "train each other". Only now it has. Bugger learns quickly. (I am also trying to teach it swear words, since I use so many of those in my writing.) It doesn't do so well with contractions, but I'm impressed that it's dealing relatively well with my speech patterns and accent. That's better than Siri can. Her speech recognition is so U.S.-centric that I've given up trying to talk to her at all. She can't help me with shite. (Now I'm having to teach the programme that "shite" isn't the same as "Shiite.")
But I will have to teach it my Caribbean British spelling conventions, much as I have to do with many American copy-editors. I wonder whether it does HTML? Something to research. I've already learned that it doesn't work with Open Office. I guess it's no surprise that a Microsoft programme doesn't work with a rival open source programme.
Using the MVR feels like when my teachers in primary school used to give us dictation. I'm trying the programme out, not only because my hands hurt, but because when I'm stuck in a writing project, it can help to switch modes. It can give you a new perspective on the piece, thus showing you a new way in. For instance, going from writing on the screen to writing by hand in a notebook. And perhaps going from visual to audio. We'll see. I've been teaching it the names of my characters in Blackheart Man, and also any neologisms I've created for the novel. I guess that's an issue peculiar to science fiction and fantasy writers.
In my ongoing ADHD-fuelled drive towards writing avoidance, I just, um, wrote. 500+ words, only not in the ongoing novel, but in a new short story altogether. Weird thing is, I think it's nearly done. I thought it'd be much longer than this. Mind you, I've been mistaken before.