jessicasteiner: (I Write Therefore I Am)
Today I had the day from hell at work, but that's neither here nor there, really. The topping on the cake was when a self-represented opposing party - a man who's stooped to such dirty levels to get an edge in his case that I can barely stand to even be in the same room with him because I keep getting this icky feeling in his presence - demanded a free and signed copy of my book.

I've always - despite him yelling at me in the face, while accusing me of rudeness - treated him with as much courtesy as I could manage. So naturally if he had purchased a copy of the book, I would have signed it for him. But this was over the top.

We were in the elevator, my client waiting for me in another part of the courthouse as this man and I returned from an errand, and he made his "request". I literally stared at him in utter disbelief, and said that, no, I wasn't going to give him a free, signed copy of his book.

He literally chased me down the hall, insisting that he didn't have enough money to purchase a copy of my book, that he was a big fan of science fiction and fantasy and that he was sure I was going to be really rich one day, and he'd be able to say he "knew me when".

I told him that I wouldn't get rich giving away free copies of my books to opposing parties.

He told me that it wouldn't cost me anything, anyway, so why was I being so meeeeeeeeeeeeeean?

Uh, yeah, actually it costs me money to purchase copies of my books. Less money than it costs everyone else, but REAL. ACTUAL. MONEY. Not even taking into account the money I don't make when someone doesn't buy my book.

"What, you don't get free copies for friends and family?"

"No, sir, I don't."

And even if I did, he is neither.

I think that's got to be a square on Writer's Bingo that I can now mark off. Does Writer's Bingo exist? It should.
jessicasteiner: (Bad Writing Day)
Many days, I enjoy my job. Most of the time, it's quite stressful, and sometimes I get burned out and frustrated. Often, I think about my clients the last thing before I fall asleep and the first thing when I wake up. I try not to think about them too much outside of work, but it's difficult, at times.

But when I help someone in a small way to heal the wounds of a separation, help a family to figure out how to live positively even as separated people, or help someone to protect their children from a parent who might harm them, it's worth it.

But there are days when it's hard to remember that all people aren't assholes.

Just as a note. If you're going through a separation and you:

a) decide that the best way to deal with that is to physically harm your ex in some bizarre attempt to stop her from wanting to leave you, or

b) decide that the best way to stick it to that bitch you married is to go to court and lie to a judge so that your daughter must spend the weekend with you instead of being the flower girl in her cousin's wedding, or

c) decide that the best way to deal with having a restraining order placed on you by your ex is to follow her sister around town for hours instead

You are an asshole.

Don't be an asshole.
jessicasteiner: (Solitaire)
Yeah, so I've committed myself to a bunch of things and I feel I should probably... get them straight in my head so I don't miss a deadline.

And who knows, it may be interesting to someone besides me. So this is what I'm working on, in some kind of hierarchical order whose logic is obscure even to me:

  • Final line edit and polish of The Sleeping Death - 189/402 pages complete

  • First draft of The Dreaming - 18/27 chapters written. I've actually got to go back and total up the words on this because I have no idea how many words I've got total.

  • World building and plotting for a series I am referring to as Harry Potter in Space with Aliens (working title for book 1: Dale Shepard and the Bug Aliens from Outer Space)

  • Signed up for a 10,000 word original story for [community profile] originalbigbang - Rough draft and summary due September 15th

  • Signed up for a 1000 word reversebang for [community profile] originalbigbang - Claiming April 24th, story due May 22nd

  • Research on Sengoku-period Japan for a possible alternate history steampunk series set in that time period.


In addition to those substantive projects, some things to keep in mind:

  • Going to try to write some ebook reviews and crosspost them to [community profile] sps

  • Signed up for [community profile] thedailywriter, with a goal of 10,000 words for the month of April. It's April 6th and I'm already blowing that goal away - 6191/10,000

  • also signed up for [community profile] words_count with a goal of 500 words per day and 1 hour per day of writing-related activity, including editing. I've been doing well with that and have checked in each day with my activity.


So that's what I'm up to. How about you?

I'm back!

Mar. 31st, 2012 08:41 am
jessicasteiner: (Fangirl Moment)
Well, after a many-month hiatus in which I got a lot of stuff done, took a good, hard look at what I was doing, and made a few decisions, I've rebooted this blog and moved it over to Dreamwidth. I feel a lot more at home here, and hopefully it'll cut down on the spam comments, lol.

A lot of things are happening with me and my writing, which I should be updating on over the next few days. I plan to update more regularly (at least once a week) and focus in more on my own writing and what's going on in life, as well as having the occasional thinky-thoughts post like my one on risk-taking and my post on new media and the future of publishing.

To be honest, while I enjoyed doing the reviews and I will probably continue doing them, I don't have as much time to listen to audiobooks and podcasts as I did. My commute is now only five minutes, so I don't have those long, boring stretches of time on the train to listen to five podcasts a day. As a result, I can barely get through listening to the podcasts I consider important for myself, to keep me current and give me tips and such for my own writing. It's hard to branch out and listen to lots of different podcasts under those circumstances.

But I will review books I read, and if I run across something new, I'll almost certainly toss up a review here.

Stay tuned!
jessicasteiner: (Solitaire)
Greetings!

I figured for the first post to my new blog, I'd make it all about me, mostly because I think having some background about who I am will set context and whatnot. A portion of this will go in my author bio, of course. Mostly I just feel weird about just diving into doing reviews when people who might read them have no idea who I am.

...At least, I'm hoping that people will read this who don't already know me.

Anyway, so here goes.

I live just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia (that would be the one in Canada) and I'm currently finishing up a law degree at the University of British Columbia. I graduate in May of this year and start my actual legal career from that point.

I have an undergraduate degree in Life Science from Queen's University in Kingston Ontario. That's basically an obscure way of saying that I took pre-med, but didn't do anything with that degree. By the time I got to third year I realized that the last thing I wanted to do was work in a lab all day long, but I was too stubborn to change degrees, so I pushed through and scraped past.

After graduating, I worked for a pharmaceutical company for four years, which was really a writing job. I wrote the documents that told other people how to operate the machines in the plant and how to perform certain tests. It was also sort of a legal job, since I participated in any regulatory audits and made sure that everyone kept in compliance with the law - at least, that was what I was supposed to be doing. That whole experience is worth several posts of its own.

I moved to Vancouver basically to get away from that job, and after a short stint at a human resources consulting firm I started working for my mother, a family lawyer, as a legal assistant. After two years of that I started law school and will shortly be joining my mother as an associate, eventually to take over the practice as she retires.

I've been writing semi-seriously since about grade nine, when I sat down and wrote a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel. It was horrible, and has since been lost in a computer hard drive crash along with all of the other unfinished novels, mediocre short stories and poems that my high school and early-twenties-self came up with. I don't really mourn the loss, though it was devastating at the time. I spent about five years in a serious writing slump, completely paralyzed, and wrote almost nothing until NaNoWriMo 2007, when I finally figured out and broke down my mental blocks and started ramping up again.

I live with my fiancee of 12 years, Miko Bronstein, who is a costume stitcher. She's been working in the theatre industry for several years now, and is now starting her own business building custom costumes, mostly for fans who want to cosplay at conventions. If you don't know what that means...go ahead and ask me. I'll probably screw up and call Miko my wife quite often, since I've been in the habit for a decade, but we're not legally married yet.

We have two cats, and will start planning our wedding basically as soon as we get ourselves situated with a house and full time jobs. We've been together and engaged since long before gay marriage was legal, so we're in no big rush either. We've always figured that if we're going to do a wedding, we're going to get it right.

Okay, if you're still with me after all that, I'm impressed. Now on to the point of this blog, why I'm doing this and why now.

Now that I'm drawing close to the end of my incredibly demanding time at school and have my legal career organized, I want to turn serious attention to the other part of my intended professional career - my writing. During the time that I was in law school, I've completed two manuscripts that I think have a pretty good shot of getting published once I polish them up. I've started working seriously at polishing one of them, and I've also started a third novel, and am planning a series.

If that sounds like a lot of work - it is! I haven't had the time to devote to it that I would like while I was at school, but I want to turn things up a notch once I finish the bar exams at the end of July. It is my intention to get published while the law takes care of the bills. Maybe it won't happen this year, maybe not next, but I'm determined that it will happen.

On top of that I have an hour and a half long commute to school. Often I study or write on the train, but I also listen to podcasts and audiobooks. I have been learning as much as I can from those sources, and I will continue to listen to them during my 45-minute commute to the office after I graduate.

Not only do I love the law, and love writing, but I love teaching and recommending things that I think are worthwhile. I decided to start this blog to talk about the things I'm listening to and reading, as well as the writing courses I take.

I also want to talk about my journey towards getting published, which may or may not be all that interesting right now. Even if it seems a bit premature at the moment, I hope will be of use to someone in the future, when they're thinking of taking the next step and trying to become published writers themselves.

So you'll see a few things here. Mostly it'll be me reviewing the things I listen to, books and podcasts and that sort of thing, especially in the short term. I'll also talk about the law and politics, discussing some current issues that are on my mind and inviting discussion about those topics. I'll be talking about my writing process, including snippets here and there of my work, and you can witness me working through the roadblocks I encounter as I go.

So that's it! I'm looking forward to taking the next steps of my journey into my new professional life, and I hope that you enjoy taking those steps with me.

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Jessica Steiner

February 2016

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