Monday, May 11, 2015

Whats, Whens and Wherefores (Summer Update)

Where have I been? What have I been doing? Am I okay?

I am okay.

Mostly, I've been in my office, glued to my desk and desktop. When not there, I have been in the disability service's office glued to that desk, desktop and phone. (And let me say, this is technically my first time working directly with the public - aside from my venture as a student technology assistant when I was an undergrad - and it's been interesting. Fodder for writing, at the least.)

Happily, I have survived my second semester of grad school. In fact, I did a little better than survive, I passed both my classes with high marks and kept my 4.0 GPA and most of my sanity (though it did take a vacation for the last few weeks of class, which probably resulted in a better performance when I had to present....).

While I haven't been blogging much - specifically, blogging fiction much - I have been writing my happy little heart out when I can eek out the time. I am missing participating in writing prompts within some of my favored communities - Studio30 and Story Dam, to name a few.

I hope to join back up with them a bit through the summer. I have two classes this session, but one is only from June 1st to July 2nd, so I am hoping beyond hope that such a schedule will give me a little free time to work with. (Because my second class goes from June 1st to August 8 and the fall semester starts up on August 20th. Yeah. Not much of a break.)

But those are worries for the (not too) far future.

In the more near future, I'm beach bound. And in between playing in the waves and biking the island and maybe doing a little ghost hunting, I hope to work on some short stories and maybe a little more plotting on The Devil's Water (working title). And, perhaps, jump back into the blogging world with another installment of The Work.

See you around the blogosphere.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Things I've Learned from Grad School #3

Make enough copies of your work that anyone looking on would think you have hoarding problems.

Use a second hard drive, an external hard drive, a flash drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive.

Use all of them. Because at least one piece of technology will screw you over at some point in time.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Music Mondays: Singular Edition

Unless you live under a rock, you're aware that Leonard Nimoy died this past Friday. He was 83 and had accomplished a great many things in his life (none of which I need to go into here, you can find them covered in news articles).

But being the Trek nerd that I am, Spock was his greatest. So I wanted to take this blog moment to say goodbye to my favorite science officer.

Live long and prosper. Peace and long life. You did. Admirable.

For a little contrast, today's track has some humor.

"Mr. Spock" - Nerf Herder

Saturday, February 28, 2015

[Fiction] The Work, Part 3

Via WikiCommons. Taken by Elia Biraschi. CC Agreement.
Note: This is part three in a series. The first two parts are here:

The Work (Part I)
The Work (Part II)

The Old City was quiet this time of the evening. The streets were vast and empty, cast in sepia-toned shadows by the street lamps.

It was really rather perfect, Eva thought, for someone traveling with an animated, amnesiac corpse. She pulled her car into an empty spot next to the sidewalk and turned off the ignition just as Michael—she really had to stop referring to him as the dead guy—twisted in his seat, seat belt making his scrub top gape and show off the autopsy scar.

“You're sure of this guy,” he said, voice still sounding like he'd done a shot of broken glass.

Eva nodded. “He's good at what he does. With your memories all….” Eva flapped her hand side to side. “He'll be able to see what I can't.” Casting one more look around and seeing no one, she slid out of the car, gestured for Michael to follow.

Jasper Becque lived on the top floor of Palisade Lofts. It was a perilous climb with Michael's less than coordinated limbs, but Eva didn't trust the rickety old elevator not to trap them between floors. (The last thing she needed was to be trapped in a small metal box with a who- knew-how-long-it-had-been-dead dead body. Never mind that it was currently animated, it was still decaying and would soon start to stink. She was already going to have to Febreeze her car, despite driving with the windows down.)

Jasper's door was open when they reached it, the man himself leaning against the frame in short sleeves and jeans, his feet bare. He hadn't changed, had the same easy way of holding himself, the same generous smiling mouth and the strangest eyes she'd ever seen on a person: one, the green of a new spring leaf and the other a deep, warm sard.

“Sight for sore eyes, sweetheart.” He raised one long arm, pulled her into a half hug. “Ain't seen you in a year and here you show up with vivens mortua in tow.”

“I know,” she said. “I'm sorry. We need your help. Because this is something more than just vivens mortua.”

“I had figured.” He turned his eyes to Michael, who stood several feet back, seemingly trying (and failing) to blend with the wall. “You, your memory's lost. Gone patchy?”

“I only get flashes,” Michael whispered.

Jasper nodded as if he'd confirmed something and gestured them inside with a sweep of his arm. “Come on. I'll tell you your memories in no time. And maybe a little more.”

From anyone else, it would've sounded conceited, but from Jasper it was simply a statement of fact.

Eva took a seat in the recliner as Jasper pushed Michael onto the couch, dropped easily onto the coffee table across from it.

“Whatever flashes you remember,” Jasper said, “focus on those. It'll help."

Michael nodded, a roil of silver smoke curling around his head.

Jasper leaned forward, placed his hands on either side of Michael's head, fingertips pressing into the dead man's temples.

If this were a television show, Eva thought, they would be in for something dramatic right about now. Jasper's already strange eyes rolling back in his head until you could see nothing but the whites, a strange glow revealing their mental connection, Michael crying out in pain as his memories, his spirit, was plundered.

There would be something more than these two men—granted one of them was dead, and the other one of the more powerful clairvoyants she'd met—sitting in silence, staring at one another.

It was a few minutes more before Jasper blinked, drew back. “Shit.”

“What is it?” Eva said.

“Well, you were right,” Jasper said, glancing at her. “It's big.” He turned back to Michael. “You, my friend, are wearing the body of a convicted murderer.”

It only took me months to write the next part to this. The blame falls squarely on grad school. It's hard to get back into the fiction groove when you're writing educational and technical material. It's a different mindset. I just happened to have a moment in between writing proposals and design plans, so I went for it. Gotta keep the muscles in shape.

This is for the (week of Feb 23) Studio30Plus prompt "conceit" and the Light and Shade Challenge for February 25 (the picture at the top of the post). 

It may be a few more months until I see you again. (Thank you for sticking around.) 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Things I've Learned from Grad School #2

That “But I don’t want to do homework!” feeling that’s been with you since you started school applies even when you've chosen (without coercion) to undergo two additional years of formal education.

And trying to pull the “the sooner you finish, the sooner you can go play” line of reasoning with yourself doesn't work anymore.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Things I've Learned From Grad School #1

When you want to sleep, you won't be able to.

You'll stay awake for hours, in bed, listening to your mind whir and whine about all the papers and projects you have to complete.

Doesn't matter if they're due in a few days or at the end of the semester. It doesn't even matter if they've been assigned yet.

Once you're actually given the assignment, you'll want nothing more than to curl up on your couch with a blanket and you'll need to imbibe copious amounts of caffeine to stave off the approaching coma.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Twitter Impersonation. Not the Highest Form of Flattery.

Last Wednesday, for some reason, I decided to Google myself. As you do.

Only this time, instead of Googling my full name, I searched for the initials that I go by in the blog and twittering world: L.M.Leffew.

Lo and behold, what did I find?

A twitter account that has my face. My background image. And my location.

Do I have a twin I never knew about?


What I do have is a Twitter impersonator. And from the looks of it, not a very clever impersonator. Actually, it looks a lot like a bot that is scraping off pieces of other people's statuses. Why or how am I the lucky one who got to be the fresh face of this particular spammy page, I don't know. (At least it's tame.)

For comparison's sake. Here's my Twitter. Robust, fleshed out, lots of tweets. You'll find the link to my Twitter account in the side bar under the bird icon.

And here's the impersonator/spammer. Note the misspelling of the last name in the username, "Lefewf."  The very random tweets. And I have a feeling the followers are largely spam-and-scam accounts, as well.

I've already contacted Twitter and reported the impersonation. Today marks a week since I've done so.

I've been looking for information from other people to see how long Twitter took with their impersonation reports and the timeline is looking anywhere from a week to, possibly, a year. (And several people noted that they never got a response from Twitter. They just checked the impersonator account and found it had been suspended. I guess you do get what you pay for. Yes, that was sarcasm. Well, at least they got the right result.)

So could you do me a favor, those of you out in readerland? Would you mind hopping on over to Twitter and reporting this account as the spam that it is?

Here's the link:

I'm not picky about whether the account gets suspended for spam or impersonation. I just want it gone.


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