Sunday

23 April 2017

This was me on Facebook yesterday, having a meltdown:


I had just finished combing the manuscript for those last, buggery, infuriating typos, and was DONE. Finally. The sucker was ready to be formatted, and I was preparing to send the final draft to the editor. the Spouse Thingy has a week off work starting Monday, and I was primed to take a few days off as well. Perfect timing.

But then I started the email to which I would attach the file, and realized there were 3 versions of the book sitting in my Dropbox folder.

And then, to my horror, I realized I had been working from all three at different points, all because I often have a case of Teh DumB. Every day I'd sit down and open Word, click on the file name in the main page, and work. Like a normal person, right?

Eh. The mistake was all on me. I wanted to blame Word for saving different files, and I wanted to blame Dropbox, because why the hell not, but looking at it, it was me.

It looks like this. Wait for this.
When you save a file to Dropbox, it saves to your hard drive first. Then it synchs to Dropbox. I know that.

But I was not paying attention the 2,974,984 times I clicked on SAVE while working. So a lot of the time when I worked at Starbucks, I clicked on SAVE, watched as Word saved the file, and then closed the lid to the laptop.

Here's the thing, boys and girls, learn from me: there's a little Dropbox icon in the Windows taskbar. DON'T SHUT THINGS DOWN UNTIL YOU SEE THAT LITTLE GREEN CIRCLE WITH THE CHECKMARK. If you don't see that, if it's a little blue circle with roundy arrows, it's still synching.

I wasn't paying attention. So Dropbox patiently waited for me to be near a WiFi connection again with the freaking lid open, and then saved the document with a new file name.

So I screwed up. And whined. And in whining got great advice and learned how to compare documents with Word. Well, two documents, and I needed to compare three. But the upside is that I learned how to do it, and in poking around realized I could do two at a time and then worry about the third later.

And HALLELUJAH, when I sat down to get it done, I realized the only differences occur in the first 40 pages. After that, other than a few stray commas, all three documents are the same.

So what I thought was going to take 3-4 days only took 2-3 hours.

I'm still taking one more pass through, just in case, so I won't be sending it to the editor until Monday, but...for all intents and purposes, FORKED is done.

Wednesday

19 April 2017

Dear Lady at the table next to me:

Sorry, I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping, but you were a little on the loud side, so it was unavoidable. And I get why you were loud: you were an excited kind of upset, and people tend to ratchet up the volume when they’re upset.

The thing is, what really caught my attention, is why you were upset. Your 28 year old baby boy asked a girl to marry him and she said yes, and you cannot fathom how this is can be happening. Not now. You haven’t met her, and you’re pretty sure you won’t like her. Why not? Because. Just because. And you’re pretty sure that she’ll have to win you over, earn your trust and your love. The whole thing just upsets you, and you want it to stop.

Lady…you’re doing it backwards.

Love her before you meet her. Trust her right from the start. This is the woman your son wants to spend forever with, and a few days beyond that if he can. You are not and will never be and never should be that woman; you did your job, you raised him, and I’m going to go out on a limb and presume you did a pretty decent job of it. Your son is a good man, right? Of course someone is going to love him and want to commit to being the other half of his soul.

That’s a good thing.

It’s not a competition. He doesn’t love her more, and doesn’t love you less—he loves you each differently. And this is the thing that stands out most to me, because I’ve been in that position: the boy I gave birth to became a damned fine man, and he met The Girl and fell in love. From the moment I knew about her, I liked her. He was smitten and she liked him back, and that's all I needed to know.

From the moment I saw the light in his eyes when he mentioned her, I loved her. How could I not love someone who clearly made him so happy?

And when he asked her to marry him, I was thrilled. She brings out the best in him, and he wants to be the man she deserves.

Your son is probably a lot like mine. He has good taste and great judgment, he surrounds himself with wonderful, loyal friends; the woman he marries will be worthy of him.

If he loves her, how can I not? And better still, she obviously has great taste and superior judgment, because she chose him. If she loves him, how can I not love her?

I was right, too.

If you make her earn your trust and then your affection, you’ll have wasted so much time and the hard feelings you create might not ever be soothed. You'll miss out on so many wonderful moments, waiting for those feelings to come. And it really will be you on the losing end; you'll be on the outside looking in, by yourself while they move forward with their lives.

Respect your son; if this is the woman he loves, and she loves him back, then this is the woman your heart needs to be open to.

Respect yourself; you did a damned fine job raising a good man, you taught him to make good choices.

And if nothing else: she loves your son. She loves your son. That should be enough.

Lead with love. Everything else will follow.

Saturday

8 April 2017

This is going to sound bitchy, and maybe it is, but...

Look, I know there are tons of places online where people can download books and music and movies for free. But seriously, don't ever brag to me about how you have all of my books, and you got them for free a X's website. I know you think it's a compliment--hey, you have everything I've published--but the truth is that it just pisses me off.

Think about it. You have a job, right? How would you feel if you went into work and your boss informed you that your work output is pretty freaking good, but since he can basically get the same thing elsewhere for free, you're not going to get paid.

When you use those sites to get my books, I don't get paid. Anything.

As it is, what I earn from most legal downloads amounts to 1 cent per page. That's it. One cent. If you get books via Kindle Unlimited, I get less than one-half cent per page read. Seriously. It usually hovers around $0.0047 per page read. That, at least, is a legal avenue, even though it sucks on my end.

I appreciate that you're reading my books, but people, it is my work. I spend anywhere from six months to a year on a single title; I work more than 40 hours a week. It's my job, as much as the place you go to every day and work is yours.

No, it's not like borrowing a book from the library. Libraries purchase books at set prices and writers get paid based on those distribution agreements.

No, it's not like borrowing a book from a friend. That friend might lend the book to 2 or 3 people; file sharing disburses it to potentially millions. Every time you take a file that is not specifically offered by its creator, without paying for it from a legitimate sales source, you're denying its creator fair wages.

There may come a time when I offer specific titles for free, but that would be by my own choice. I have not, nor will I ever, authorize someone else to distribute my books for free. In fact, if you're getting them in digital form from any place other than Amazon, you're getting a pirated copy.

Don't be that douche who feels entitled to other peoples' work just because some other douche ripped it off and put it online.

And if you are that douche? Don't brag about it to me. My book or someone else's, it doesn't matter. I won't be amused. I won't think you're clever for getting it for free. I won't be impressed.

And truthfully, it's not just about the money. It's about respect. If you're downloading pirated material, you don't really have any respect for its creator...so why would you then tell me about it, and expect me to be all right with it?

This isn't anything new. When my first book was published, it wound up being download 25,000 times before the file was taken down by the publisher. Theoretically, those downloads represent $100,000 in lost income, based on my contract I had at the time. This was before e-readers were really a thing; people accessed the print file and shared it as a PDF. It's considerably easier to do now, as the digital file is easily converted to a variety of formats, and I don't allow DRM on my books.

Why not?

Because those who do buy the books should have the right to move them between their own devices. They should be able to share it with a few friends.

But holy hell. Don't ever brag to me that you downloaded it from a pirating website. I will never look at you the same way after that.


Wednesday

5 April 2017

He spent a lot of time last night laying there, staring up at the top of the china cabinet.

He wants to jump up there--Buddah does all the time--but he knows he can't quite make it anymore.

Worse, he remembers when he could do it, because it wasn't all that long ago.

Now the house is cluttered with things he can use to get to places he used to be able to jump without any effort. There's a cube by the bed, so that he can get up to nap or to bug me as I sleep. There's another cube by my desk for him to use to get onto the cat tree that where he lounges while we work. Buddah's favorite tree is on the other side of the kitchen counter, and Max uses that to sneak up there and steal Buddah's snacks; he hasn't been able to jump from the floor to the counter in over a year.

I imagine there will be a day soon when we have to get shorter things, so that he can get onto the cubes that allow him onto the places he likes to be.

But there's nothing I can do to help him get to the top of the china cabinet, where he seems to want to be right now.

There's also nothing I can do to help him get from the top of his cat tree in the spare room to the top of the wardrobe, where he loved to hide. Now he lounges in the middle of the floor in that room, reasoning, I think, that it's his room. Buddah rarely goes in there; I rarely go in there. So it's his room, and if he can't get up high, he's going to take up as much floor as he can.

He's still healthy, but his age is really starting to show; in roughly 8 weeks he turns 16, the oldest cat I've ever had. I have no doubt he'll be around for that, but beyond? I'm honestly not expecting him to see 17.

This isn't a weepy kind of post; don't worry about him yet...I just want to prepare those who have followed him online since he was three years old. He's not just getting old now; he is old, and his days are more likely numbered in weeks and months and not years.

Right now he wants me to open a can of gravy-laden gooshy food. If he doesn't like the flavor, I'll open another one. And of course I will, because old men should have what they want when they want it.

Friday

31 March 2017

This is the post-book-sent-to-editor phase that I kind of don't like: what the hell to do with myself? I have a ton of things I could and should do--there are other books to be read, and the house looks like complete crap so I should get off my asterisk and clean--but I wind up sitting here doing nothing while I contemplate what to do.

My brain is a little bit fried, I think. It keeps telling me that there's another week left in the month, even when I'm staring at the date in the lower corner of my monitor, or the one on the clock by the TV. I can plainly see that this is the last day of March, but dammit, April is a week away as far as my brain is concerned.

Since it's Friday, my brain is also telling me I should slip the laptop into my backpack and head over to Starbucks, where I can work for a couple of hours without all the at-home distractions. It's the start of my work week, I'm supposed to be at a table with a spendy cup of tea, trying to figure out what a six pound cat might say to a person who can clearly understand him.

I should clean the kitchen.
I should go to the gym.
I should take a long bike ride.
I should do laundry.

I have a stack of books in my TBR pile.
I have 100 pages of notes for the next book.
I have some pictures that need to be hung.
I have absolutely no idea WHAT I want to do.

So...I sit here with the TV on while I play online, because waiting for the editor's notes (and for the Spouse Thingy to proof for typos) renders me useless. Too many things to do, and a brain that can't keep track of the days much less decide on what I can do to be productive.

Thursday

30 March 2017

What I've learned this month: a kidney infection is the gift that just keeps on giving. The infection itself is gone, but it left reminders and  would very much like those reminders to go away.

If you've been reading this blog since the beginning, you might remember that I have diabetes insipidus (which is not diabetes. It would be more aptly called "water diabetes" where the type you normal think of is "sugar diabetes.) Basically, my brain no longer makes the hormone that tells the kidneys when to hold onto water and when to release it, and without medication they release it. All of it.

Unmedicated, my life is a constant drink-fest. The thirst is violent and unrelenting, and I can suck down a liter an hour...and wind up peeing every 15 minutes. The upside is that the meds control it quite well. I'm thirstier than the average person and I damn well need to know where all public facilities are, but I can function normally and generally don't have to get up at night.

When the infection hit, it was like I was going unmedicated. The worst part (after getting over the infection. That sucked) was having to get up 4-5 times a night. I have a tendency toward middle insomnia as it is, so after the 2nd time up, I was awake, and stayed awake for 2-3 hours. My sleep cycles was all wonky, and I was getting freaking tired.

The doc assured me it was normal; my entire urinary tract was inflamed, and it was going to take a couple of weeks to calm down.

I would like it to calm the frak down now. I would like to be able to go do normal-people things.

The upside, I suppose, is that I got a lot of work done. Since I wasn't really going anywhere other than Starbucks, I planted myself in my chair and got the second draft to the third Wick book done and sent to the editor, and if I feel like jumping right to the next while I wait for her input, I have nearly a hundred pages of notes for the 4th book (which will not be a Chronicles book...it will be a new series start, Wick After Dark.)

But if my kidneys start cooperating, I'm taking some time off to go do things, like hit the gym and take long walks, because in 8 months is the 3 Day, and I want to make those 60 miles my bitch.

What I won't be ready for is Tinkerbell. I have no endurance right now (we did 4 miles the other day and it was surprisingly hard) and there's no way I can meet the pace requirement. I have a nasty feeling that Tink will be another Avon walk for me: something I register for every year but somehow never make it to.

Oh yeah, I registered this year. It's in July, so we'll see. It's only 40 miles, so maybe.

In any case...the book is done, and I pee a lot.

So...life is normal, I guess.

Wednesday

22 March 2017

After the cold from hell and then the kidney infection, I got slapped down with another UTI. Or a continuing one, point is there were a lot of crappy things going on with my innards and I was starting to get really pissed off. I hate being stuck at home, and it was really starting to feel like not just being stuck, but stapled in place.

And then the Spouse Thing caught the cold, his reward for taking care of me when I felt really gross.

But, this weekend I felt normal--still a bit of a goopy cough, but that's may be allergies--so I went to Starbucks to get some re-writes stared. Max was patient while I felt bad, but he wants this book finished so that we can move onto the next, more adult one. For realz. He's totally into this.

Now, one of my worries about shaving my head every year is that I'm going to get mistaken for a guy--it's happened before--and violently thrust out of restrooms or the locker room. And before anyone says there's no way I would be misgendered, remember, I was hit by a little Asian woman repeatedly a few years ago because she thought exactly that: there was a man in the ladies room and she wasn't having any of that.

So far--possibly because I've only strayed out in the last 5 days--it hasn't been a problem. No one has mistaken me for a dude. well, with the exception of one guy in a Chinese restaurant, but he wasn't really looking. he glanced at best, and asked how we "gentlemen" we doing.

No big deal.

However.

Twice now in Starbucks, after spending a few minutes chatting with women in line ahead of me, there has been an offer to buy my drink. Different women, even. Both times I was using free rewards, so I politely declined, and it was fine although a little awkward the first time, because I was taken aback by the offer.

The second time?

After I placed my order and went to the hand-off area to wait, we continued to chat. She asked all kinds of questions. How did I like Dixon? What did I do? How much fun is having a Starbucks this big nearby? The whole time, I'm thinking "What a nice lady," because most people just aren't that friendly.

Then I hitched up my backpack because it was uncomfortable, and she noted the wedding ring. Then she asked me how long I'd been married.

When I said thirty-five years, there was a beat of quiet confusion, and then "Oh. OH! Well, I'm barking up the wrong tree, aren't I?"

Guys...not gonna lie, I was flattered as hell.

And now I wonder if the first woman offering to buy my tea thought the same thing. My ego kind of hopes so. I mean, I'm 55. How often do you get hit on when you're 55?

I can't even say I've still got it, because I never really had it.

Still...my day was made.

Monday

13 March 2017

Okay, this is about as long as I've had my hair since high school.
In the back, it curled over my collar.
Ignore the background clutter; we have a total white-trash backyard thing going.


So of course, the Spouse Thingy had to do this...


Which lead to this, which I should probably keep
to make a really bad wig for myself


And we ended with this

It's about as short as I could go with the clippers we have without going all the way to skin...which I would have done at the event, but we have super cheap clippers which would have taken some scalp along with the hair. I justified it (aside from that) because on the event, women do have the option of keeping a little hair. But mostly...I didn't want to bleed.

Next year...cripes, let me not be sick.

If not for how much it would hurt, I would totally get a scalp tattoo, like a giant smiley face, right on the top of my head, just to surprised whoever winds up shaving me next year.



Sunday

12 March 2017


Random picture for no real reason
Okay, so here we are three weeks after the cold from hell started; I worried that it would keep me from showing up for the St. Baldrick’s shave, and that worry was not without merit…but it also wasn’t what kept me home.

No, I stayed home thanks to a kidney infection that picked 10 days into everything to rear its ugly head. I woke up the day after my last post with wicked flank pain, and at the risk of TMI my urine was damn near white. So off to the doc I went, where I was prescribed an antibiotic for the infection and given the advice to stop taking the DayQuil and NyQuil I was using to combat the cold.

It was in my chest but not in my lungs, and he wanted to keep it that way. Ideally, cough that chit up, even if it meant a couple of sleepless nights. So I stopped taking it, took Sudafed instead, and wound up spending most of my day in bed.

The kidney infection was all kinds of fun. I went from feeling like I was freezing to sweating so hard I literally soaked my clothing, all within a 90 minute span, and it went on day and night through the weekend.

So I did not get my head shaved. Yet.

They are sending me a t-shirt, so there’s that.

Everything has greatly improved and I have only a lingering, goopy cough. My appetite, which eluded me for a week, has returned (why the hell did I not lose even a single pound? I DIDN’T EAT FOR A WEEK!) and I’m going out into public again. My endurance is still down a bit, but I don’t want to sleep all day anymore.

So. Likely tomorrow, the Spouse Thingy will fire up the clippers and buzz my hair. And as soon as I can—without coughing—I’ll make the singing video. Or hell, maybe I’ll do it now while I still can’t get 5 words out without hacking snot up from my chest. At least then there will be a clear reason for how horrible it’s going to be.

Heh. You poor, poor people.

Monday

27 February 2017

Eight days ago I was sitting in Starbucks and realized I was having a hard time concentrating. That was followed by feeling a little bit off, and a tickle in the back of my throat. I packed up my stuff and went home, because I was pretty sure I was coming down with something and I don't want to pass it around, and because I get a little and didn't want to go off on anyone.

It all went downhill. the coughing started, the gurgling started, the headaches started, and I just felt like crap.

Still do.

My back and sides are horribly sore from all the coughing and I can't keep up with the headaches. I'm exhausted. Still, all in all it could be a whole lot worse. It's just a really bad cold that doesn't seem to want to go away.

But...I need it to go away in the next couple of days. This coming Saturday is the St. Baldrick's Shave; if I still feel as awful as I do now, I can't go--I won't risk passing this alone to the masses--and if I don't go, I don't get my t-shirt.

I'm all about the t-shirts, you know.

However...even if I can't go to the actual event, the head will still get shaved and y'all will still get the promised video of me singing, as soon as I can. I can't sing even a few words right now without coughing like a maniac, but the goal was met and I will fulfill it.

Fingers crossed I can go, though. I want the t-shirt.

Saturday

18 February 2017

I'm sitting in Starbucks--pretty typical for a Saturday for me--trying to edit the vomit draft of the current manuscript. The place is pretty well packed so it's not in any way quiet, which is fine. The sound of voices tends to become background static, and I don't mind.

But fifteen minutes ago a family sat at a table very near me. Several kids. Fine, this is a public place, I really don't have a leg to stand on if I complain.

Everyone knows a kid who has a naturally loud, whiny voice. The kid can't help it; that's just their voice. Even their quiet voice is oddly loud.

This family has one of those kids. I could normally tune him out, but he has said--at least 50 times and I am not exaggerating--"quit calling me that." And Dad keeps on calling him whatever the hell it is that the kid doesn't want to be called.

I am starting to twitch, and it's taking every ounce of restraint I have to not stand up and yell, REALLY, STOP CALLING HIM THAT SO HE WILL SHUT THE FARK UP.

Only I wouldn't say FARK.

If I ever win the lottery, I'm opening a place for people to come where they can write, study, read, drink coffee and tea and eat pastries, but I swear anything over a whisper will get a patron bounced.

In fact, that's what I'll call it. Whispers.

Damn. Now I really want to make this happen.

4 February 2017

Yanno, If you pick up a guitar for the first time in about 10 years, two things happen:

1) Your fingers feel like they have gained 5 pounds and an extra inch in girth
2) Your fingers will farking hurt.

If you sing...it displeases the cat.

Wednesday

1 February 2017

Freedom of religion also implies freedom from religion; if you honestly think that this nation needs to be insulated by Christianity, that we need Jesus in the White House, then you really don't support the Constitution. #showerthoughts

Tuesday

31 January 2017

Okay, NOW it's the last day of the month. I have no idea why I thought yesterday was, but for most of the day I was convinced there were only 30 days in January.

Training for the 2010 3 Day
We end the month with making sure we're registered for the San Diego 3 Day in November. Our fundraising from last year was deferred and will show up on our 3 Day pages in April, so the current $0.00 showing isn't correct. But I probably won't even mention it again until after St. Baldrick's, at least. I've reached my minimum as it is, and the Spouse Thingy isn't too far off. We'll still do some donor prizes, because donor prizes are fun.

But.

I hit $600+ for St. Baldrick's, so I'm gonna have to sing. Give it a couple of weeks; I need to figure out where I stored my guitar, see if it can even be tuned, and then try to remember how to play.

It's been a while.

You poor people.

In other news...I was super surprised to learn this week that a 10 day old baby can fly internationally. I'm not sure why I thought there was a minimum age, but nope, the kid could have flown as young as 2 days. I haven't heard how the flight went, but a part of me feels kinda bad for the other passengers if it didn't go well.

In other other news, I get the proof copy of the paperback version of Ozoo tomorrow. Kind of excited to see it, even though it will look like the hardback.

Also...for some reason a few of my books are no longer being sold in print by Amazon, only available from 3rd party sellers. I have no idea why. It includes The Emperor of San Francisco and Ozoo. They're both still in print and in distribution, so I assume it's a mistake, but they're not exactly easy to contact. If you want one, holler at me. I have copies.

Monday

30 January 2017

With just a month and a few days to go until the St. Baldrick's Shave, I'm more than halfway to goal and halfway to having to video myself singing.

You poor people, if I do have to sing.

I'm apologizing up front.

I'm also not cutting my hair until the day of the shave. This is already driving me a few levels of nuts, because I don't like my hair anything other than really short. It's still short by most peoples' standards, but I'm at the point when I would be either risking a trip to Supercuts or having the Spouse Thingy take the clippers to it.

More likely the latter. The last haircut I got was at Supercuts and the kid cutting it was literally hitting me in the head with the clippers, and at one point jammed them into my ear. No blood, but it hurt like a mother, and I walked out with a horrible haircut that I still had to pay for. It still doesn't look very good and I'm itching to get it fixed, but...

I will wait.

In other news...how the hell is this the last day of January? Ok, I'm an idiot. There's still one more day left.

Sunday

29 January 2017

I find it very telling that a person I know who worked for 20 years in U.S. Intelligence, who has always been incredibly gung-ho-rah-rah-America-First, has been quietly moving his family and business interests out of the country.

Very telling.

Saturday

28 January 2017

“We knew what we were voting for when we cast our ballots for Trump. Obama wasn’t a bad president, but the entire system is broken and needed a wrecking ball taken to it. Trump is our wrecking ball. Tear it down so that we can build it back up.” ~Random Trump supporter from a discussion online.
It was actually a calm discussion that wasn't peppered with vitriol; someone asked others to explain why they voted for Trump, knowing the things he said and did prior to the election, and people answered.

The thread that wound through most of the answers: they knew he was the worst choice, but that's what they wanted. They wanted to blow the process apart, and use his nearly guaranteed horrific job performance as a way to take a wrecking ball to everything.

I get that, I really do. People are tired of the status quo, of rich white men having control of the minutia of our lives. Tired of not having a voice. Tired of the bickering and political in-fighting, and the absolute stalemate of working representatives. People wanted change, and they didn’t see it happening by electing someone who is part of that elitist cadre.

Here’s the thing, though. When you take a wrecking ball to something, that thing doesn’t always get rebuilt. Often what you’re left with is a vacant lot that sits empty for years, because there’s nothing to replace it with. Sometimes you wind up with a pile of rubble that never moves and becomes infested with vermin, because there’s no one to haul away the detritus.

Without having concrete building plans in place, taking a wrecking ball to anything is simply an exercise in destruction.

Taking a wrecking ball to the Presidency of the United States is like tearing down a mansion because the bathroom is in ill repair. You might rebuild, but what goes up isn’t necessarily another beautiful mansion. It might just be two single-wide mobile homes built from corrugated sheet metal set down without a foundation.

But electing Trump as president in order to take a wrecking ball to the entire process of a functioning government goes beyond that. It’s destroying the beautiful family home set in the center of urban blight, and leaving all the decay around it.

The house was not the problem; the problem was with the neighborhood.

So a large number of people voted for Trump thinking they were effecting change, understanding it was going to rip apart the government that leads the free world. The problem is that they also voted back in the people who were largely responsible for how broken things have become. That wrecking ball should have been aimed at the House and the Senate, and ripped away from long-term and career politicians the power they crave for themselves.

Yes, you’re getting what you wanted: the President is going to chew up and then spit out every single thing that doesn’t benefit him directly. Your want of tearing down the office is happening, but the result probably won’t be what you were hoping for. When he’s done, when he has that catastrophic meltdown that most of us can see coming—even many of his supporters—there might not be anything left to build upon.

Friday

27 January 2017

In the interest of promoting the betterment of literature, last night I poured  glass of Fireball, say down with the laptop, drank a bit, and then got to work.

There's a strong tradition of drinking and writing--Hemingway was a pro at it--and I figured why not? What if deep within me is literary genius untapped because of some inhibition I'm unaware of, and all it takes is a drink or two to let it out?

I had to find out.

I sipped and wrote, sipped some more, and by the time the glass was empty and I'd written five pages, there was only one conclusion.

Fireball makes your tongue hurt if you keep it in your mouth too long.

Thursday

26 January 2017

I want this as a tattoo.

Just behind my right ear.

However, now that I'm back in the pool, I don't want to take 4 weeks off from swimming.

I can't do both.

Dammit.

Wednesday

25 January 2017

There are a lot of old people at the new gym. I seriously think more than 50% of the members I've encountered are over age 70 and many are pushing 80+.

Mostly, my thoughts are Kudos for getting out here.

But sometimes, my thoughts are Stop making me look so bad!

The other day I was lapped on the track more than once by a guy who has to be 75. He was just walking, but blew past me like I was inching along. Today in the pool, there was an old guy who probably did 10 laps for every 7 I did, and I only felt better about it when he only swam for 20 minutes.

But the big thing about old people in the gym. They no longer give a shit. About anything. Walk into a locker room with old ladies, and one of 'em will be drying her crotch with a hair dryer. Yet another will be bare assed naked on a bench, spread out so far that if you cared to look you could probably see her tonsils.

I will one day be one of the old people at the gym and by then I will have no more fucks to give, too. But for all that's holy, please don't let me practically grab someone coming out of the shower to check out her tattoos. Seriously, make sure I let her get dressed first.

Yes, the tattoos are spiffy. Yes, my artist is talented. NO I DON'T WANT TO STAND HERE TALKING WHILE I'M WET AND NAKED.

Well, maybe other people do, people who are fit and trim. I am neither of those things. Let me get dressed, then you can look at the ink all you want.

Tuesday

24 January 2017


This is where we planned to be today. Well, not necessarily Chinatown, but San Francisco. We were going to check out the Museum of Modern Art, then bum around and see what there was to see.

The problem is that I've been having some pretty awful insomnia lately. I'll be sleepy, go to bed, lay there for 2 hours feeling like I almost asleep, and then bam, I'm wide awake.

It's really starting to suck, and cutting into the Spouse Thingy's time off. Between me not sleeping and being too tired to function, and the weather, we really haven't done any of the things we planned to over the last couple of weeks.

Instead of SF we thought we'd go to a movie, but halfway there realized I was yawning so much that I'd probably fall asleep in the theater...made more likely by their new reclining seats. Put my feet up, lean back, and I'd be gone. So we went to Costco instead.

You know, just to walk around.

It only cost us $190.

But yeah...this is starting to super suck. I already take benedryl every night so I'm not willing to take anything else, nor increase the dose. I cut caffeine out really early in the day, generally nothing after 2pm. My brain just won't shut TF up at night.

Tomorrow's plans are the gym and then Starbucks, so I damn well better sleep tonight, just so I can get an early enough start that Starbucks can happen. Because...tea. I need my tea.

Monday

23 January 2017

I missed swimming. Like, a lot. While I'm glad I'm back in the pool, I am not happy with how much I lost in all the months I couldn't swim because of my shoulder.

Today was a short, still-getting-back-to-it swim, because I'm babying the shoulder, lest I screw it up again. But still...man, I was slow.


Last March:


Now, my math skills aren't great, but a 3:03 pace over 100 yards seems a hell of a lot slower than a 2:51 pace over 100 meters.

I'm sure it'll be better when I can swim without worrying about the damage, but that doesn't help my ego.

Not super happy with my pace on the track, either. I can do better than this and not sure why I didn't.


I pushed it a few times, thinking I would shave a few seconds off, at least, but my HR shot up to150 so I wound up backing off. I need to get my pace to under 16 min/mile...something I don't think I've done since high school.

Seriously. Even when I was training in TKD and in really good shape, I was slow.

I'll get there. As long as I stay ahead of the balloon ladies at Tinkerbelle, it's good. And once I see the shiny things, chances are I'll start running.

And hey, I don't even do that for cake.

Sunday

22 January 2017

According to Timehop, two years ago we were at Disneyland. I think that was the last of the DL Indy Pub Panel meetings, which ended in a drunken writery fist fight.

I missed that. Sorry I missed it, too.

But, it gave everyone a lot more free time to just enjoy the place, and since Disneyland is one of my favorite things, I had no issue with that.

We went back later in the year, just before Christmas, but we haven't been back since.

The Spouse Thingy was off this week, and is off next, and I really wish we were heading down that way. I like simply walking around the park; we'll do an average of 10-12 miles a day at Disneyland, easily. It's just a hell of a lot more fun than walking around Six Flags here; we go there a few times a year, but it's for 2-3 hours tops. There are no rides there we really want to get on, so it's mostly a place to go walk when it's too hot to be outside here.

We thought about going but decided to stick closer to home, and go to San Francisco a few times...but then the rain rolled in and ruined that.

Still. Disneyland.

I freaking love it, but a trip there comes guilt. We know a lot of people in the area; lots of family and friends, but because we're there to, you know, DISNEYLAND, and I generally never know when I'm going to crash and burn, we just don't make plans to see anyone. If we planned to meet with someone, I'd have to suck it up, and if I have to suck it up, there's a really good chance that the rest of my week is over.

And with that comes the guilt. "You can see me, I'm family." Well, yeah, so are X and Y and Z, not to mention This cousin and That cousin and The Other cousin. Who do we pick? Who do we piss off? And the friends...yeah, the friends have been far more understanding, but I'm sure they're still annoyed.

I get that, I really do.

That doesn't change anything. Chances are, next time we go down there, we won't be making arrangements to see anyone. Hell, next time we go will be for a race. If you want to hang, register and huff and puff alongside me. That would be fun as hell, and I won't even get mad when you pull ahead of me and finish like an hour before I do.

And damn. A random thought of "I want to go to Disneyland" turned into a rant.

But I really want to go...

Saturday

21 January 2017

This guy


has decided that sitting on the arm of my chair, very close to my face, is his favorite spot. If I'm working, my lap taken over by the computer, he sits there THAT close to me, and either tries to stare me down, talks nonstop, or paws at my boobs.

Usually, it's the latter. The little shit has gotten to 2nd base more in three days than anyone did the first 30 years of my life.

It's not exactly helpful, and I've gotten far less done than I think I would have.

But. The angry-glasses snit is over.


Okay, fine, I don't look any happier, but I am. New glasses--yes they're identical to the old, other than not being broken--got in yesterday. Second pair of new glasses should get here next week...because I clearly need a backup pair.

But the thing that got me...the cost. With insurance coverage, the glasses purchased at the doc's officer were nearly $400. I went to Costco for the spare pair, and the exact same lens, all the same options, and a much sturdier frame was a hundred bucks less WITHOUT insurance.

Yeah, next year, Costco right from the start.


Friday

20 January 2017

The storms we've had over the past few days are going to be spendy...


That's looking out my office window to the front yard. The fence we share with one of the neighbors bit the dust in the middle of the night Wednesday. It's not reparable; we've both been sort-of fixing it off and on for the last 8 years, and this time the posts finally cracked.

I'm surprised they didn't break sooner, given that whoever did all the fencing around here didn't seat the posts in cement, just jammed them into the ground a few inches.

Still...the much-needed rain is going to cost us some bucks, because the fence is half ours, and with it, half the cost. I'm just glad it was only the one fence, because we share a fence line with 3 neighbors, and it all needs to be replaced sooner or later. I'm just glad we don't have to do all of it at once.

Thursday

19 January 2017

All right, by the time this posts at midnight 1/19/17, if I am not asleep, just shoot me.

I went to bed at 10:30 on Tuesday night, tossed and turned, got up at 1:00, annoyed the cats because I was awake and breathing, and went back to bed around 2:00. I felt sleepy, so off I went.

:::blink:::

I tossed and turned and gave up at 4:15, got up, decided to be nice and fed the furry little monsters, and got breakfast because apparently being awake all night stirs up an appetite.

The Spouse Thingy woke around then, too. We sat here and stared at the news, neither of us happy to be awake.

I went back to bed at 5:00. And fell asleep, finally, about 15 minutes later.

And phkit, I was awake again at 9:45.

So I've been sitting here pretty much all day , with only a few instances of movement, trying to not drool all over myself and trying to stay awake, so that I have hope of sleeping tonight.

The only good thing about being a zombie today, and missing the gym, is that it's been rainy and windy, to the point where I wouldn't have wanted to drive to the gym, anyway.

Not that I didn't send the Spouse Thingy to the post office and the grocery store...

Wednesday

18 January 2017

I had an odd impulse last night: I wanted to do the Tinkerbell 10K.

I was going to do the Pixie Dust Challenge last year--the 10K followed by a half marathon--but then the Spouse Thingy needed surgery, and we had to back out. And in backing out, we backed off on our training.

I don't think I have time to train for 6.1 miles followed by 13.2, but I certainly have time to get ready for the 6.1--I can do the distance, no problem. It's meeting the pace requirement that will be an issue.

There's four month to prepare. If I can't get my pace down to 16mm by then I probably never will. But as long as I'm ahead of the balloon ladies (they start the race last...you only have to be ahead of them) I should do ok.

The problem with deciding now that I wanted to do it, was the fact that Run Disney is sold out for the 10K. I could have gotten a Challenge bib, but realizing I likely won't be ready for that, I wanted the 10K.

All was not lost...one of the travel agents that handles some Disney race things had one. So I'm in.

I got a hotel room.

Only thing not procured is airfare, but I need to wait on that until I know if the Spouse Thingy is coming or not.

Because, really...I'll do this alone. I'll fly alone, get the the hotel alone, to the race alone...that's how badly I want to do it.

Y'all know, I hate flying. But I'll do it.

Now I better train for it, because I damn well want the medal.

Tuesday

17 January 2017

Oddz N Endz Redux987

Took the broken glasses back to be re-welded. No problem, it's covered under their warranty, come back in an hour.

Went back in an hour: come back in 15 minutes.

Went back 25 minutes later: come back in an hour.

I said things from the bad word list (Are you fucking kidding me?) I could not hang around the mall for another hour, so we have to go back tomorrow. The mall is not, like, a 5 minute drive. It's a pain in the ass.

* * * * * * *

Got in the pool for the first time in a very long time; I've been fighting some fairly serious tendonitis in my right shoulder for the last year, to the point where I couldn't even reach up to scratch the back of my own neck. Couldn't lift anything more than a few pounds, nor reach out to my right. But, after PT and months of stretching and ice and heat, it was time to give it a try.

After warming up, I could manage a modified stroke, as long as I didn't push it. I only swam for half an hour, but it was a start. We'll see how it feels tomorrow, but as long as it's not worse, I think I'm back swimming. Which is good, because it's my favorite exercise thingy.

Downside: when you haven't been swimming for nearly a year, you get super flabby. I gained about 5 pounds, but it looks like 20 of flab. I was grossed out on my own behalf.

* * * * * * *

Because he hates me, Murf came up with a fundraiser idea. If I hit $600 raised for the St. Baldrick's shave, I will sing on video, and upload it to Facebook and link to it here (I apologize to all ahead of time, I don't sing well.) If I hit $1000, he will match the entire amount. Over $1000, he will match. So let's suffer the horror of my singing, and murder his wallet.

* * * * * * *

I am going to make brownies tonight. Because it seems like the smart thing to do after getting back to the gym.

Monday

16 January 2017

See how happy I am?


I only needed to weld point to hold for about another week. New glasses were ordered last Tuesday, with a 7-10 day delivery expected. It's been 6 days and I'm not counting on them being ready until the 2 week mark.

So of course, as I sat here last night, I realized somekitty had smudged a lens with his nose, and started to clean them.

Snap.

I'd barely touched them. It was the exact way they broke 3-4 weeks ago. Start to clean, barely get cloth to the lens, and snap.

So I'm sitting here with the broken frame perched on my face--I don't want to use tape because once the Spouse Thingy is up and awake he'll hopefully drive me to get them re-welded--and I can sorta see, but because of my progressive lenses, it's far from perfect. I'm going to have a headache by the end of the day.

Go ahead, point and laugh. There are worse things that can happen. They can likely be re-welded and I have new ones coming, it's not the end of the world. But dammit...one more week. That's all I needed from them. One more week.

The real downside...I had a lot of work planned today, sending people into a war with a giant kitty and a massive black dragon, but I don't really want to strain my eyes that much.

Wait. They're not fighting against the giant kitty and the black dragon. They're allies. I wouldn't want the kitty to be my enemy, because Fluffy? He'll eat a bitch.

Sunday

15 January 2017

2015
Remember this?

This was in February 2015, right after getting my head shaved. This is what happens when you agree to dye your hair just before having it shaved from your scalp--splotches. In this case, green, because that's what the highest bidder asked for.

Dye your hair green! It'll be fun!

For the record, I hated the green It did not look good on me, not at all.

And damn...it too a long time to get the stains off my scalp.

The first year I participated in St. Baldrick's, my hair was purple. I kind of liked the purple, and it went on well in advance, so that by the time I sat in front of the masses and lost all my hair, it was no longer dotting my skin like a weird stubble-pricked map.

2014
Last year I escaped the clippers when a friend made a last minute, super large donation, but the kicker was that I had to keep my hair. She did it because she was aware that the Spouse Thingy was not thrilled with me getting my head shaved again, and also because she knows it's pretty much my least favorite weird thing to do for charity.

I don't think she'll do it again. Her own spouse thingy will likely hide her credit card to keep it from happening again.

So. I've registered for my 4th St. Baldricks, shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research. I will do humiliating things to raise money (sand nudity, because no one wants to see that) and while I am willing to dye my hair, you gotta know by now that I like doing that. In fact, I'm probably doing that tonight, at least bleaching it to prepare for color on Monday.

Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves, figure out what you want me to do this year.

And while you're talking, please donate. I set a goal of $500, which is less than last year, but if I could blow over my 2015 high of $1000, that'd be awesome.


Saturday

14 January 2017

Like most Saturdays, this morning I put my laptop into my backpack, shoved wallet and keys into pockets, and put on a sweatshirt; Saturdays are for sitting at a table in Starbucks with more tea than I need to drink while I pretend to work. This Saturday, I needed to run to Walmart first to pick up the Spouse Thingy's meds from the pharmacy, and Max kindly escorted me to the door.

Hey. Move it closer. I can't reach.
Every time I leave the house, if there's a cat near, I tell them I'll be back. It's only polite, and there might be a tiny part of them that actually gives a damn.

This time I told Max I was going to the store.

And then asked if he needed anything.

And then I actually waited for a response.

In my defense, I have not slept much in the last week, because the little shit sits outside my door and talks all damned night.

Still.

I waited.

Shuddup.


Friday

13 January 2017

Max is perched on the back of my chair, literally breathing down my neck. Every once in a while he slaps the side if my head with his tail--he knows exactly what he's doing and that it annoys me--and it feels like he's reading over my shoulder as I work. It's like, thwap, change that sentence. I don't like it. Thwap, fix that; Wick is funnier than that.

He spends a great deal of time lounging near my head if I'm working from the recliner in the living room. Since this is technically his work, I suppose that's a good thing, but I could really do without the tail slapping me and the frequent vocal reminders that I am not worthy and he's just letting me do this because he's nice.

But...we're (yes, we're) working on two projects at once, the third book in the Wick series and the volume that follows, which will not be a part of The Wick Chronicles because it's definitely not YA material. It's not erotica, either, but it falls on the side of good-thing-my-mother-won't-read-this. I'll give a copy to the Boy when it's done, but I won't want to know if he read it.

I've never written as out-of-sequence as I am this time. The third Wick book is about half done, and I stopped for a while to pound out notes for (working series title) Wick After Dark, and wound up with so many pages that the word count could have won NaNoWriMo again. For the freaking notes. Now that I've gotten that done, it's back to the third book.

The problem is that I tend to get a little absorbed when I'm this deep into something, and I'll be this deep until both books are finished...but I also need to get to the gym, go for bike rides, and do normal-people kinds of things, lest I become fused with the chair.

The Spouse Thingy also had a couple of weeks off coming up, and I should probably spend some time with him.

Life would be so much easier if sleep wasn't a requirement.

Sleeping is another issue. Still. Always. I envy those of you who are normal sleepers. Every once in a while I get a string of nights where I actually manage it for 8 straight hours, and I very much enjoy that. This sleeping for 3 and waking up for 3, and sleeping for 3 more is getting old.

Maybe I should take up drinking. My writing might be a lot wilder, and I might even sleep after.

I have Fireball in my freezer.

Maybe I'll try.

Maybe Max will get his damned tail out of my ear.

Wednesday

11 January 2017

I have to admit, I was not looking forward to quitting one gym to join another. While I know that the gym minion doesn't give a chit if I stay or go, there's always that little part of me that worries they'll take it personally. And then we'll do the whole It's not you, it's me! thing, and there will be tears and tearing out of hair, and everyone is just unhappy at the end.

How it really went:

Spouse Thingy: Yeah, we need to quit.
Gym Minion: Okay. Give me the account email so I can send you the confirmation.
Spouse Thingy: Okay.
Gym Minion: Okay.
Spouse Thingy: Bye.

A peek of the track and the pool
There was nothing wrong with that gym; it had everything we needed. But the new gym is about half the cost, and the pools are indoors, and there's an indoor track. Since swimming outdoors when it's cold or raining is sucky enough to keep me home, the switch is a good thing. AND NO BEES IN THE POOL! Bees in the pool are a problem when you're allergic.

So tomorrow we'll go work out and I'll try my first swim since, I think, last April. I'm still rehabbing my shoulder, so if I can't handle a crawl, I'll just kick my way across and work on not swimming flat, which is what got me into trouble in the first place.

The track is only 1/10th mile, but on days when I just don't want to walk outside, it's an option. And looking at it, it might be the perfect place to attempt running. Run the short straights, walk the curves. Maybe I'll actually get where I can find a sub-4mph pace.

Shuddup, I know you walk faster than that. I'm old and fat and slow.

Then again, I was slow when I was young and thin.

Still...it'll be good to get back in the water. We kept up with the walk training until November, so I think we'll both be able to jump right into that without having to build back up, but damn I am so looking forward to the day when I swim a mile again.

Tuesday

10 January 2017


I'm squinting at the monitor right now, because I had an eye appointment this afternoon, during which my eyes were dilated, and three hours later they're still quite dilated. But, that's over for the next year or two, and in a week or so I'll have new glasses...and given that mine broke a few weeks ago, it's a good thing. Even though it was $$.

Still, even though it's hard to see, here I sit with the computer on my lap, surfing around online. Because clearly, I like to torture myself.

And speaking of torture, I'm doing the Donna Virtual Breast Cancer Half Marathon again this year. There's the in-person Marathon and Half, but I have no desire to travel to Florida for this, so again, it's the virtual. They raise money for the Mayo Clinic's breast cancer research programs, so it's a worthwhile endeavor.

The Spouse Thingy has a couple of weeks coming off, and I'll probably pick a day during then to do it, hopefully in San Francisco where pounding out the miles doesn't feel like torture.

I'm not going to hard-core fundraise for this one, but if you want your first tax deduction of the year, I sure as hell won't discourage it. You can donate here.

Later this year is the 3 Day, but we deferred from last year, so most of the funds have been raised for that (but dammit, we need to re-register and I keep forgetting)...the Spouse Thingy has a little bit more to raise, but we'll get to that later, once I nail down a prize or two.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to join the new gym--kinda fancy, needing an appointment--and after registering for the Donna this week has a here we go kind of feel to it. I want to hit the ground running (metaphorically) and get training underway for the 3 Day and, hopefully, a Disney race this time next year.

So yeah.

Here we go.


Monday

Sunday

8 January 2017

I heard music until one this morning. At some point it went from death metal to country, so whatever freak is lurking in my head or in the air vents needs to develop better taste, because neither of those things appeal to me.

I realize I will probably never know where it's coming from; it just freaked me out to hear it in the living room. That was a first.

So. Meh.

I have done very little this weekend, at least little that involved moving. It's rainy as hell, so I haven't been keen on going anywhere. Mostly I sat here and worked, typing out notes while Law & Order: SVU played in the background. No, I don't know why I didn't just turn the TV off. It's not like I was paying attention to it.

But this week...movement. We're joining the new gym and letting go our membership at the old, and getting back to a regular workout routine. I still can't swim because my shoulder just won't allow for it, but I can kick my way across the pool and stretch out my back while I'm at it. There's an indoor track to use when walking outside doesn't appeal to me, and I still harbor those thoughts of running. It seems like it might be easier to do the run/walk 30/30 thing there.

Well, it would be easier to not do anything, but that's not going to shave weight off my fat asterisk and is not going to get me ready for 60 miles. There's 11 months to go, but I'm trying to shift my focus away from that, because it would be too easy to just put it off.

So, join the new gym, get one of my 2017 Intentions started.

Go me.

Saturday

7 January 2017

Nearly every night since we moved into this house, as I try to fall asleep, I hear music. It's horrible, death-metal type music, and I've always just assumed that it's phantom noise generated by my tinnitus. I get in bed, turn the fan on, and generally within 15 minutes it starts.

But right now I'm in the living room with the TV off, and just before 11, when I'm often in bed with the lights out, the music started up. From my seat, it sounds like it's coming from the air vent in the ceiling. When I'm in bed, it sounds like it's coming from the air vent...but I assumed it was just one of those things.

So now I'm a little freaked out. I'm home alone. There is not a TV nor a radio in in this house. So where the hell IS that music coming from?

Friday

6 January 2017

I still harbor delusions that one day, I will be a runner. Or a jogger. I’m not picky. I just want to be able to move at a pace that would allow me to participate in events for shiny medal things, and not wind up with a DNF at the end. I can handle the distances, but it’s the pace that eludes me. Give me enough water and a few places to pee, I can pound out 13 miles…but not quickly. My near-jogging pace is other peoples’ walking pace.

A year ago I was registered for the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco and chit happened and I wound up not going; I did the miles closer to home, but it wasn’t speedy and I didn’t get anything shiny. I played with the idea of registering for it this year, counting on the training miles for the 3 Day to be a springboard, but then more chit happened and we didn’t do the 3 Day (but we trained!) and then I kind of forgot about it.

But it’s this weekend. And this weekend looks to be a horrific one for rain in the Bay Area. If they still hold the race, the runners won’t just get wet, they’ll be drenched. With added wind, the lighter ones might even take flight. I saw the weather forecast earlier and was a little glad that I’d forgotten about it, because not only am I still sick, I’m kind of a weenie and wouldn’t make the drive for a race where I would get wet and likely not finish.

This weekend is also the Dopey at Walt Disney World in FL, and they’re supposed to get a wet mess tomorrow, just in time for the half marathon. It’s bad enough that the race has already been canceled—it’s a safety issue, given the lightning that tends to arrive with storms in the area—which leaves runners kind of stranded.

The Hot Chocolate is one thing. It’s not that spendy to register, and if you wind up in SF and not running, there are tons of free things to do. Registering for a Disney race is an investment; the race itself isn’t cheap, and there’s usually air fare and hotels involved, and those runners are already there, they’ve already spent the money, and they’re not getting it back. They’ll get choices—a Disney gift card in the amount of the race registration, or two one-day park hoppers, or a deferral to another Disney race—but they don’t get to run and thy don’t get their travel expenses back.

The challenge runners, the ones who registered to run multiple races—5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday, and Full Marathon on Sunday—don’t get the shot to meet the challenge.

It’s got to be seriously disheartening.

Sure, it’s the risk of registering, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. And having had to bail on more than one event in the last few years, I have a little bit of a notion what that’s like.

Still…I keep hoping that one day I’ll be at one of those races. If our training for the 3 Day goes well this year, and I can peel some speed off my pace, I’d still like to do the Hot Chocolate or a Disney race. I may take a chance and register for the Star Wars at Disneyland next January…the question is whether I shoot for a challenge or just pick either the 10K or the half. Or save the Disney race for May and do the Tinkerbell, and give the Hot Chocolate a try in January.

Then that little voice in the back of my head reminds me I haven’t actually made it to anything lately, so why get my hopes up? What if I take on the training, and real life crap rears up again and I don’t make it yet again?

But…what if I do?

Maybe think about it when I can actually do more than walk to the bathroom and back without getting tired. Today is not that day.

Thursday

5 January 2017

It figures that I would get (mildly) sick right when I decide to give the post-a-day thing a whirl. All I want to do is curl up in bed. I don’t even feel particularly bad; I just have zero energy and sleep is constantly calling my name (this is why you should have no sympathy at all for me…I’m sick but not even half as sick as most people get with a URI.) I got it into my head that I would get in bed and read, but that lasts for all of two minutes before I shove the Kindle aside and close my eyes.

The one thing it’s been good for: weeding through the things in my brain that are trying to create the next couple of Wick stories. I’ve got two books going right now; one is the third book in the Wick Chronicles, the other will most likely be shuffled off into its own set, tentatively Wick After Dark. The former is a good 80,000 words along, the latter is just a compilation of notes, but I’ve got over 55 pages of notes and I’m not done.

The thing tripping me up is that I’m not quite satisfied with the next Wick book. I love the story; it’s fun and is swirling with sci-fi and fantasy elements, but the execution it just a bit off to me. It’s been just off enough to have set is aside in favor of writing notes for the too-oft-requested-from-a-single-person-Char-you’re-a-prevert WAD novel. I’ve let it simmer in the back of my brain, and while I’ve been lying in bed dozing, it started to bubble and a few of the bubbles popped, and I realized where I went wrong.

I started in the wrong place. If I wrote both books at the same time, Wick 3 would take place smack dab in the middle of Wick After Dark, which in the hands of a much more skilled writer would work well, but I:

1-don’t want to force people into buying two books to get the meat of one story.
2-Wick After Dark will not be a YA book, so it needs to be separate.
3-I think I’m good but not quite that good. I could do it, but something would suffer for it.

Haven't tried this, but hey...it could be good
Mainly my sanity.

I can see the new start to Wick 3; it drifted in front of my eyes the way the opening to The Flipside of Here did when I was training for the 2010 3 Day…although, this time, perhaps, cold medicine may have been involved and may play a part in how I write it. Well, maybe not cold medicine when I’m actually writing. Booze is more likely. Thanks to my son I have a new love of Fireball and am tempted to test out the “Write drunk; edit sober” adage.

At least something good will come out of this crud.

Possibly a drinking problem, but hey…

Wednesday

4 January 2017

While I curled up in bed, dozing most of the day away, the Spouse Thingy took down the Whovimas tree and put all the decorations away. The living room now looks depressingly bare, and Max in unhappy because the tree is no longer there to hide his mancat cubby near the fireplace. Now when he he relaxes in there we'll be able to see him, which will suck half the joy out of having it.

I've gotten zero work done, because all I feel like doing is sleeping...and when I go to bed tonight I'll probably lay there wide awake, because all I've done today is doze.

It's just a cold, though. I will survive. Hell, if I didn't feel so sleepy, it wouldn't be bad at all.

But I was also right, it's annoying the cats. Max wants me where he expects me to be at any given time, not curled up in bed.

He, too, will survive.

Tuesday

3 January 2017

This is my best friend right now:

It feels like someone shoved a blowtorch down my throat, but I'm pretty sure it was really just the Spouse Thingy's cooties floating through the house.

Also pretty sure the next 5 days will be spent doing as little as possible, because I tend to sleep when I don't feel well. This annoys the cats, but they'll survive.

It would help if dinner would present itself.

We're gonna live on cereal, I think.

Monday

2 January 2017

Back when we lived in Vacaville--and for a short time after, before it closed--I used to go to Borders a few times a week. The idea was to work, but more often than not, I watched people. Being tucked into the back of the bookstore, the cafe was a great place for people-watching; the variety of Borders customers was pretty freaking wide, and as a result I had a lot of things to blog about.

Then the whole chain went belly-up, and for a long time I had no fun place to go when I didn't feel like working at home. There was a Starbucks here, but it was tiny and I'm not a coffee drinker; I didn't care for even the aroma of coffee, so it seemed like punishment to spend much time there.

The Dixon Starbucks was located right next door to a Quiznos; I really liked Quiznos, but it, too, went out of business. The space remained empty for over a year, until Starbucks expanded into it. It underwent a remodel, and when it was done I had to check it out. Because, why not? It's not like there are a ton of entertaining things in this little town. Two minutes spent scoping out a coffee shop I would never use seemed like an okay idea.

It was huge. Tons of people could be here and it wouldn't feel confined. It didn't have that overbearing coffee smell.

I decided to give it a whirl. I've been writing here since then. I think the bulk of 5 books have been crafted here, and there are surely more to come. I love my home office, but...it helps to be around other people sometimes.

There's the downside to being a writer...you spend a lot of time alone.

The view from my favorite table...still doesn't show the whole store
So I'm still not a coffee drinker, but they have lots of different types of tea, and I have a place that is not cloistered away in the house, absent of other people. On a given day there's someone who catches my attention, but I recently realized that no one had caught it enough to pull me away from my work, and nothing was especially blog-worthy.

Lately, the place has been filled with students from UCD cramming for finals, and people taking a break from their holiday shopping. There have been a few meltdowns, but they've been cringe-worthy and not funny enough to write about. There have been a couple of times where there's obviously been a job interview happening at the table near me, and I've had to bite my tongue to keep from feeding answers to the poor interviewee. And right now there's a guy sitting next to me who is eating the most obnoxious smelling thing in existence...but he'll be done soon and hopefully to odor will go with it.

Either this just isn't the best place for people-watching, or I've been buried deep enough in the Emperor and Ozoo to not notice.

Probably the latter.

And cripes, I was going to go home after writing this, but I just looked outside and it's raining hard.

Fine. I've got work to do. And maybe someone worthy of note will come in. I can always hope.




Sunday

1 January 2017

You used to blog a lot. You should do that again. Like do that whole post-a-day for a month.
This said by someone who once had a very good blog but shut it down for reasons never really made public. (Oh I know why, but if I said, that'd be telling, and I'd be a lousy friend if I told.)

Wait.

I've been told I suck before.

Nah. I won't.

My response: Don't people usually do that in November as an alternative to NaNoWriMo? It's, like, NaBloWriMo or something like that. Which I find far more difficult that NaNo, which is only pounding out 50,000 words in a month. I did 50K of total crap in the last 2 weeks; it's easy when it doesn't have to be good (in my defense, it's all notes.)
Do it and I'll bake you some cookies.
Note the offer is to bake the cookies, not actually send the cookies to me. I'm still waiting on promised cookies from 2009.
Just get back in the habit. Make it one of your INTENTIONS. 31 posts in January.
I was still waffling about the idea. I mean, I'm working on 2 books right now, and dedicating myself to a blog post a day cut into my Reddit surfing and kitty porn time. But then my resolve to go to bed early went out with a bang last night, thanks to the assholes nearby who were setting off tiny little bombs, and I realized I have a lot to complain about, so maybe I will do it.

Random, very old picture of Max and Buddah
No, seriously, the fireworks were insane last night, and to describe it as tiny bombs is not an exaggeration. Regular fireworks do not shake the house so hard you worry that windows have broken, and regular fireworks don't bug Max. Last night it was so bad that both cats dove under the bed, and even after it quieted down, they were freaked out. I had Max literally laying across the top of my head all night, and Buddah was on the floor by the bed until around 5.

I invited him to come up on the bed with us, but I think he wanted to be able to dive for cover again.

The Spouse Thingy fed them when he got home from work, or he tried to. He opened 3 different cans and they wouldn't eat. At 11 I tried to feed them again--Fancy Feast beef, which is the favorite and even gts eaten when they don't feel great--but they each took a bite or two and walked away.

Stressed kitties don't eat, and these guys were still stressed nearly 12 hours later.

At 1:45 I drove to the grocery store and bought bacon, came home, and fried 2 slices, just to see if they would eat something. That, at least, worked. I split one slice between them (saving the rest as tomorrow's treat) and then snuck some crunchy treats onto their plates.

So hopefully they're fine now. But I'm still pissed off that people think it's perfectly fine to set off very-much-illegal fireworks, just because they feel like it, using the date as an excuse.

People, when your fun scares the shit out of your neighbors and sets off their car alarms, it's a bad idea. Find another way to celebrate. Like, in front of the TV with booze, like the rest of us.

Yeah, I never got around to that, either. I have Fireball in my freezer, and didn't even take a shot.

Oh. Maybe that's what I should do for January. Drunk blogging. 31 days worth.

Huh.