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Ahhh

I ended up going into work for half the day to check on my new employees and check in with the one who'd been out last week for family reasons.

Taking the afternoon off still, and trying to figure out if I'll be able to cram in the last day of vacation I have left this week. We'll see.

In the mean time, I am happily curled up in the Nightmare Before Christmas PJ's Greg gave me and the Nightmare Before Christmas blanket my parents gave me. I suppose all that really remains is to put on the blu ray of said movie my sister gave me!
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Curse you diet!

So frustrating right now.

Frankly I have been very, very neglectful about exercising the last week because of my writing deadlines. This makes the diet particularly tiresome because I'm not seeing much in the way of results. (Shocking I know... no exercise = no weight loss.)

And I am craving peanut butter fiercely right now for some odd reason.
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Paranormal Activity

Not bad. Certainly better than Blair Witch Project, which was just a big waste of time.

But next time I am debating whether something will be better in a dark theater full of other people who talk and giggle for 2 minutes after every creepy thing, or once it comes out on blue ray alone in the dark on my big screen.. I'm going with my gut.

I would guess it's a little scarier without the talking teenagers and the guy in the row in front of us who thinks he's funny. Just a guess.

And this ladies and gentlemen, is why I hardly ever see anything in the theater anymore.
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Contentment

My contract arrived today. It is official. I am being paid to write.

And a cross-post from facebook:

This is the sound of me exhaling after too much breath holding. I submitted my outline this weekend, and just got feedback. I was very happy about what I heard! A succinct line of overall praise (showing they don't think I need coddling), and... a few very targeted critiques (all excellent points) that proved they read it and thought everything else was good.
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Jitters of a new writer

(X-post from Facebook. Largely just elaboration on the last post as I work through this. Thank you all for your support, by the way.)

My first writing assignment has been a roller coaster experience. My emotions are stretched tighter than an assassin's synskin. When I came on board I was absolutely cowed by the caliber of my colleagues. I recognized every single one of their names immediately. It is a real privilege to be working with them, but at the same time I have that (mostly irrational) gnawing doubt: "I am not nearly cool enough to be here."

Of course, I am doing my best to behave like an intelligent professional with value to contribute, not some wide-eyed fan.

But it's been harder than I thought it would be. I am usually a very confident person, but every time I give an idea here I have this flutter of apprehension that it's going to sound dumb to these people I want so badly to make a good impression on. That said, I am doing what I know I need to do, and continuing to put my thoughts out there. They contracted me for a reason, and it wasn't to be a meek little yes-girl who doesn't contribute. I know this.

Probably the toughest thing has been understanding (and making myself believe- not just rationally but EMOTIONALLY) that when I receive direction, it is not a negative reflection on my capabilities. I'm not talking about feedback on existing ideas (my job requires me to have an open, collaborative attitude towards criticism), so much as unsolicited direction. I am simply not used to getting that much of it. In my day job I lead others all day long. And from the start of my career, I was always expected to be extremely self-directed. If in my day job I needed the level of supervision I am getting on this writing assignment, I would be doing something very wrong.

I need to force myself to step back and breathe, to realize that this is not the same environment. I didn't start this new industry with the equivalent of two degrees, a kick-ass internship, and and a 4.0 GPA as credentials. I am largely unproven, and my bosses are doing exactly what they should be. In fact this is not a slight on me, they are HELPING. Not only that, but we're all a bunch of creative people and everyone is excited about this. They're not just sending me ideas because they think I can't come up with good ones; it's because they are just full of great ideas and like sharing.

I know all this in my brain, but it is just difficult given my past professional experiences for my heart to accept it. Acceptance will come in time. And more than anything... it will come when I do an excellent job on this first assignment, and they prove they liked it by asking me back to do another.

So all of that said, it was still a great moment for me this morning when one of the big names in the area I'm working on gave some very positive feedback on an idea that was completely my own proposal. :-)
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CRAZY

I am such a basket case right now. Thank goodness for my sweet, supportive husband.

I'm not used to being the new kid at the table, and I am wound incredibly tight about this first writing assignment. Every response I feel like I am being judged. I know we are all just collaborating and sharing ideas, but every time someone disagrees with me (and it happens a lot) I panic.

Even though my rational mind is pretty sure it is not true, the part of my that wants SO DESPERATELY to impress them is just sure they're sitting there going "God, why did we hire her?!"

I really, really want this first assignment to be over. I'll feel much better once (if!! Waaah!!!) they see my work product and ask me back to do something else
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The best movie disclaimer ever...

At the very end of the credits where you have the blurb about not harming animals and resemblance to real people being coincidence:

"No actual Torah Scrolls were destroyed or damaged in the making of this movie."

Awesome.
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Ugh..

Yikes. Bills were huge this month between Dragon*Con and the unexpected car trouble.

It was probably not the time to decide to get a new headset-enabled phone for working downstairs, and a bluray player. But too late, I (fortunately?) hit "buy" BEFORE I payed the credit card bills.
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first D*C post

Pictures will be forthcoming, but in the mean time, I have an interesting story from Dragon*Con to share.

Saturday, I got on the elevator on the ground floor of the Hilton. As usual, we were crammed in. Still, it stopped on every floor on the way up. It stops on 3, and this thin, blond young man with a burly escort begs in a British accent for us to make room. I am thinking "is that Tom Felton?" (Draco Malfoy.) We squeeze in; he is right against my chest. As the door closes we hear girls squealing: "Come back Draco!!"

The guy sighs and says to us elevator occupants: "Thank you."

Yes, Tom and his bodyguard were trying to cram in so he could escape the fangirls. ^_^

Now, I'm not a big "ooh the movie star touched me!" kind of person. I didn't even go to Felton's panels because much as I love Harry Potter, it is the creators I am usually interested in, not the actors who portray their creations. Not that I dislike actors, but they don't matter enough to me for me to compete with their other fans, stand in autograph lines, etc.

Still, if someone had said to me: "Andrea, you're going to have one D*C guest squeezed up against you in an elevator, who would you like it to be?" he would have been my pick. (I figure I can feel that way these days without feeling dirty these days since he's almost 22 now.) So that was pretty cool.
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Defininition of spontaneous?

Such a geek am I.

I have just had to scramble to book a flight and hotel to go to Indiana this weekend.

Why? Because I wasn't planning on going to Gencon (Hard to take the time off with Dragon*Con just around the corner), but then this auction came up:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ENnies-2009-Dream-Date-Auction-Fantasy-Flight-Games_W0QQitemZ180393589419QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2a004bbaab&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14#ht_507wt_1167

How can a girl resist the opportunity to meet the creative team behind her favorite RPG? Particularly when the game (Dark Heresy) is up for so many awards. So basically I'll be flying in just long enough to go to the awards dinner.

And.. it's a chance to dress up!