31 March 2020

I have enough hair now that I don't feel freaking cold all the time, and I'm willing to wander outside without something on my head. Basically staying at home since St. Baldrick's has made things easier this year...very few outings means far fewer side glances and pitying looks from people who just assume.

Chuckles and her glowboy held up their end of the deal. In exchange for the neon green and rainbow hair, they coughed up another $1000 in a direct donation to StB's.

And yes, I'm in the same shirt...I swear, I have changed clothes since then.


20 March 2020

We're taking the whole shelter-in-place thing seriously. I fall into a couple of risk groups, so minimizing my exposure to other people is a good idea. And the Spouse Thingy works in a hospital, so us wandering around exposing ourselves to other people is a bad idea. Well, not that kind of exposing, your freaks. You know what I mean.

Since I'm not riding to Starbucks with my trusty laptop, I'll be working from home exclusively. So we swapped a couple of rooms (really...90% of that was to clean them both) and now I have a brighter, more open space to work in.

Max has a socially distant enough spot from which he can dictate. If he feels like getting closer, there's always the red chair. Or the stool right in front of my desk. Or the desk itself, since that cub is there to make it easier for him to get up there and lounge on the Gizzy quilt.

The bike is a reluctant addition. I had one in the living room, but it blocked the fireplace, and the last few nights we've wanted it. I rolled that bike into the garage, thinking I wouldn't need it anyway. It's nice enough to ride outside, and that's still an okay thing to do.



My brain keeps going to the rules recently imposed in Italy and France, where cycling isn't allowed right now. The reasoning? You wreck on your bike, there's a chance you'll need an ambulance, and then a hospital bed, and those are in short supply right now. Leave the beds for the sick.

My brain also goes back to the bide ride a few years ago when I passed out. I didn't get back on a bike for a long time, and then it was baby steps back to really riding. I still have the same medical issues I did then; I recognize the symptoms better now, but if I'm alone...? I'm not chancing it. A couple weeks ago, the risk seemed acceptable. I ride around town, where someone else is bound to notice if I need help. I've had it in my head that even if I go down, I won't just lie there for very long.

Not gonna do that to anyone right now.

So when the Spouse Thingy is sleeping off his night's work, I'm limiting myself to riding indoors. His days off, we can venture around the neighborhood.

The whole social distancing and isolating isn't going to be hard for me--I'm pretty introverted as it is, and I enjoy the quiet and solitude more than is probably healthy. What I'll miss is heading for the outlet mall just to wander around, riding to Starbucks to work, or going somewhere to people watch. But, it won't be hard...and I do feel for those of you who are extroverted and for whom this is honestly painful.

I've noticed a lot of posts from people disappointed that their races--running or biking--have been canceled, and there are always "I shouldn't feel like this" mentions.

Yes, you should feel like that.

You're allowed to be disappointed about missing events you were looking forward to, even while you embrace the idea that what we're doing collectively is a good thing. Your disappointment doesn't mean that you're angry that we all have to stay home; it means you had something you wanted to do and now you can't because of something totally out of your control, and that's normal.

Don't measure your event against someone else's. Your canceled race might not be, in the grand scheme of things, as 'important' as someone's graduation, but it's still your disappointment. It's not a competition. Feel what you feel. Then wash your hands.

Tomorrow I'm going to hand in the final draft on the first Wick Shorts book, work on the second, ride my office bike to nowhere, read, watch some TV, and try to ignore the fact that there are two different cake mixes in the pantry, and they're both calling my name.

I'm staying home, avoiding cooties, and please listen to me when I tell you that the Spouse Thingy, who knows a thing or two, is farking scared where this virus is concerned. Take it seriously. You might not get sick, but you might wind up a carrier, and friends...it's people like me who wind up kicked in the nuts.


18 March 2020

I began writing my first book when I was 14. It was published when I was 40--a lesson in not giving up. It was also a lesson in publishing as a whole, how badly one can be treated by the industry, and how absolutely necessary an editor is.

My first two books suffer from poor editing. I know that. If I could go back a rewrite them, I would...but that would not be fair to the people who paid good money for them, and there are enough that doing it would be a selfish move on my part. Bragging aside...it's a lot of a lot.

[Horrible glee on my part: the original publisher went under, which means the rights are mine to do with what I wish.]

Still...I kept writing, through five books in the series, and each one is better than the previous. The last two, definitely a lot better. The last one, the best.

The Charybdis Novels are mainstream fiction, unlike Max's light sci-fi series. I don't write heavy literary fiction; I write--basically--literary junkfood.

So now that I've totally undersold my early writing career...for the next week, they're yours for the taking. Just follow the link to Bookfunnel, where you can download them for whichever digital device you have. The files are in ePub and Kindle formats, which covers all the bases. If you don't have an e-reader, you can download the Kindle app onto just about any tablet, phone, or computer, and still get them.

For free. The link expires on March 25th.


12 March 2020

I'm bald, my head is cold, and -- laugh if you want -- we're prepping a bit.

The dye job on the hair turned out pretty good. Good enough I kinda wished I'd done it a few days earlier to enjoy it.

But, that was not to be. The event was not canceled, though not nearly as many people were there as in years past.

Usually by the time we get there, about half hour before everything is supposed to start, the bar is packed and it's impossible to get a table. This time, we walked in and got one right off the bat...and DKM bought me a shot of Fireball, either to celebrate or steel the nerves.

Either way, one shot was all it took given that I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I was a tiny but buzzed for the next half hour. And that turned out t be fine since things were delayed a half hour. I'm not sure if they were waiting for more people to sign in or what,  but we waited outside from 5 until 5:30, when things finally got rolling.

In the end, my rainbow hair was gone and my head was cold. I showed up as promised, in neon green, down to my shoes and socks, and y'all helped me raise $3500 this year.

The event raised $150,000 which brings their total--since they started doing this--to 2 million.

Will I do it again? I wanted to hit year 7, when I would be knighted. I figured I'd stop after that. But I dunno...it's a good cause. I hate being bald, but the hair will grow back. I hope. I have time to decide, and I will by Ocober, I think.

Many, many thanks to everyone who donated and spread the word!


 A couple weeks ago, we ordered a case of TP. Got a little mocking for it, but we didn't clear out the local store. We ordered it online. We tend to buy some things in bulk--TP and paper towels--so this wasn't a whole lot more than we would have bought at Costco.

But, yeah, we are preparing a little bit. We're not panic buying and going nuts about it, but we're stocking up on a few extras when we go grocery shopping, and want to have 2-3 week's worth of food on hand
by the middle of next week.

Yep, today when we were in Walmart we bought 4 cans of soup to the 1 or 2 we usually get, extra kitty litter and cat food, two jars of peanut butter instead of one...the cart was full when we were done, and we got a few looks for what was really just a slightly heavy grocery run.

Mock if you like. But consider this:

The Spouse Thingy works in a hospital. One where patients have been quarantined, not far from the OR. It's probably not a matter of if he's exposed to COVID-19, but when. We not only want to be prepared for the phone call that tells him he has to self-quarantine at home (which would effectively do the same to me; if he's exposed, I'm exposed, and I will not go out risking anyone else), we need to be prepared. And if he winds up being stuck at the hospital, I won't mind having a loaded pantry because chances are I'm not going anywhere.

We're going to be ready to be stuck at home for a couple of weeks. That's not a bad thing. 

Consider that a lot of the people you're making fun of for stocking up are doing it for similar reasons. Yes, even in Italy the grocery stores are open, but that doesn't help if you can't leave the house. People with a significant risk of exposure, people who are immunocomprised, and people who need to not risk exposure and are staying home have good reasons to stock up.

Sure, it's likely that most people who buying insane amounts of TP and bottled water are doing it out of a knee-jerk reaction, but you don't really know that when you watch them in the store, buying things. Consider that you don't know their story, and they might have valid reasons. You don't know how many people they're buying for, or why, really.

A month from now, I really hope it turns out we didn't need to do a damn thing. But the food will still be edible, and we won't really have to shop for a while. And that's a win.


6 March 2020

With just 3 days until St. Baldrick's, it was time to dye the stripes into my hair...

My hair has not been this long in years...
The stripes are wider than originally intended, because we wound up using cheap toothbrushes for ease of getting the gunk onto my hair.

Also, my scalp is going to be *so* stained LOL


Y'all donated nearly $2300 for research into childhood cancers, and if I show up to the event Monday wearing neon green jeans, shirt, and shoes, there's another $500 coming.

Tell ya what, if this dries nicely, I might have to do it again for the hell of it.

I suspect it's going to kinda of moosh together, but hey! It'll work!