Working Wednesday, August 15, 2018

We’re halfway through August, and in the US its back-to-school sales and the last gasp of summer which means I REALLY have to clean up the yard.  And buy school supplies.  And finish a book.

What are you doing?

61 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 15, 2018

  1. I tried another resin oceanscape over the weekend. The white diffused a lot while it cured. I like it, but for the next piece I’m going to put the white more towards the center, manipulate it less, and maybe use pigment powder instead of acrylic paint. I apologise for the photo quality. It’s super hard to photograph something so shiny.

    https://instagram.com/p/BmgHfNoHrUQ/

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  2. Also, I thought about clearing out the garage and creating an art space, but didn’t. Dirty, tiring, blah. It would certainty for the definition of working, but I’m not feeling like being an ant these days. I’m in more of a grasshopper mood.

    5+
  3. Trying not to plot the murder of clients who want to change “[a system designed to] capture the greatest value” to “[a system designed to] optimize for economic return.”

    This is on the heels of another client who wanted to change “see what happens next” to “see how our integrated platform responds.”

    Promising myself that I will finish regular work before dinner, and reward myself with WIP after. Unless I have thrown my integrated communications system out the window that’s optimized for atmospheric return.

    23+
    1. Sounds like justified homicide to me, if you do snap!

      I’ve been going through some similar things working on a collaboration among a patient advocacy group (I’m working on behalf of that group), a university and a pharmaceutical company. Getting the other collaborators to use language that patients will understand is a constant challenge. I mean, I’m pretty well-read on the medical issues that relate to my rare disorder, but even I have trouble remembering that the tibia is part of the calf bone and the femur is the thigh. Just use the lay terms, for goodness sake!

      9+
    2. I feel your pain. My last job as a technical writer involved me saying, “Look, to the lay reader “population” is how many people live in their town. We have to put this in ENGLISH.” Amazing that I never made it in that field.

      14+
      1. I argue this at my workplace all the time. I can show them that certain terms they like to use are jargon, not what real people use at all. And, therefore, not what people are typing into Google, or anywhere else.

        7+
        1. I think, “Can’t these people understand that jargon doesn’t work?” and then I write a blog post full of “PoV” and “crucible” and “head-hopping” and wonder why people get confused. “It’s not jargon if I know what it means.”

          One of the many reasons I’m grateful for the Urban Dictionary.

          16+
  4. I decided I was way behind on my sewing, particularly a block of the month project. I gathered my stuff, spent most of Saturday making the preparations and cutting the bits needed. When I sat down to sew – my machine went into spastic fits. So, I hauled it to the service center. When the repair person came in on Monday, there was nothing wrong with the machine, so I gathered it back up and took it home. I plugged it in, preparing to get straight to it, when it went spastic again. So now it was a puzzle. My husband and I tried various outlets around the house to no avail. We took it to the office and plugged it in there – still a problem. Monday night I was determined to call the service tech first thing Tuesday.

    Tuesday morning, I was showing a co-worker, who suggested I video the behaviour (Duh!) but I couldn’t get it to fail – at least until after lunch. With my video in hand, I went back to the tech – and sure enough, it failed for her too. So, at least I know that something will be done with it. In the meantime, I’m jonsing for some sewing time.

    I’ve had to substitute crochet, so I’ve gone back to the first shawl I was working on, getting it close to the end of part 4. There’s an extension, which I’ll probably do, because I want to use up the rest of the green, and I have some black as a backup to do the final part.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmf8QpIAbyx/?hl=en&tagged=workingwednesdaypix

    Finally, my office is in the process of being remodeled. They’ve done one half of the building, and my half is due to start shortly. We’ll be moving tomorrow to temporary digs – which means I’ve been going through things, organizing, trashing, recycling and in general preparing for the move. I’ve been in this office for 10 years, so there was quite an accumulation. It feels good to get rid of junk – I just need to apply that technique to my house!

    11+
    1. I had to plug my (only moderately fancy but still finicky) machine into a UPS which stand for Uninterrupted Power Supply and not those nice delivery people – it kept both spikes AND dips out of the power supply and cheered the machine up immensely.

      1+
      1. Yeah, I’ve had mine on a UPS for the last 4 years – the power occasionally fluctuates, and I decided to protect the things that were important to me – the sewing machine and the TV. At one point in the process, I thought maybe it had gone bad, so was testing by plugging directly into outlets around the house. UPS was vindicated, the machine not so much.

        It is an older model, so don’t know how much it will be to fix. Hopefully, less than a new machine (although all the bells and whistles on the new one are very tempting – including the giant bobbin that holds 5 times the thread of a regular bobbin. I could go for hours with that thing!)

        1+
  5. I’m poking at an Emma fanfiction that popped in my head the other day. I blame the 2009 miniseries version with Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller. I just watched it for the first time the other day and I feel like they have the best chemistry of any Emma/Mr. Knightley ever (maybe tied with Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone in “Clueless” ) My tiny crush on Jonny Lee Miller probably helps too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I don’t know how much is acting and how much is writing and directing, but their relationship felt very playful and real. It felt “lived in.” Right after I finished it, I wanted to watch it again and I kept thinking “mooooorneve, I want mooore.” And Emma has never been my favorite Austen novel.

    So my brain latched onto an idea and kept bugging me. I’m now at the stage where several satisfying little bits have fallen out of my brain onto the paper and I’ve got to decide how I want to fit them together without making the seams show. So I poke at it. Stare . Grumble. Move a few words around. This always takes longer than I think it’s going to. The nice thing about fanfiction is I have no deadline and I can make it as long or as short as I want. It will probably be just a little vignette, but I want it to feel exactly right.

    My parents are also coming to visit so I should also probably clean my messy house. Thankfully they will hardly be shocked if they show up and it’s still messy.

    14+
    1. I share your crush. The DH and I are re-watching all of Elementary. JLM is one of those who I could just listen to for, like, hours. The voice, ye gods.

      7+
    2. Ooooh, and it’s free on Amazon Prime.
      Every time I see Jonny Lee Miller, I remember he was Angelina Jolie’s first husband. That must have been interesting.

      7+
      1. Never been a Jonny Lee Miller fan , though his Frankenstein was pretty good. Then saw him in Smith TV Series with Simon Patrick, the bromance just works.

        Love Elementary, especially “Everyone”

        5+
  6. The heat and humidity have sapped all my energy, so I’ve been collapsing after I meet my fiction-writing quota, and not getting anything else done.

    This week is spay week though, with two kittens done on Monday (and recovering nicely — hardest thing now is keeping them from being TOO active) and the other two tomorrow. And delivery of Tabbs (to be renamed Cordelia, after the strong, smart, fierce Lois McMaster Bujold character) on Sunday. So that’s a bit of non-writing work accomplished. Just nothing to photograph for Instagram unless you want to see shaved tummies. The vet techs went a little crazy shaving Ruby, and it’s funny to see how the skin matches the color of the fur that will eventually grow back.

    9+
  7. New covers for my light mysteries. Collaborated with a talented and all-around lovely artist to develop series covers that depict tidbits from each book. And for those who know the series well, the main books also capture the theme of the MC’s evolution throughout the series.

    Was super fun to do and I learned a lot about the art of illustration and the process from pencil sketch to coloured vignette. I also learned more about my stories and MC as I went through the process of distilling each book into tidbits we could use that would be fun for readers without giving too much away.

    This week, the new covers are up on my site and slowly making their way out into the world. They’re quite a departure for me but fit my genre. And they gave me the opportunity to get two of the three pets featured in the series into sorta living colour. Fingers crossed readers like them because I’ve got more already made for forthcoming books:)

    12+
  8. Still healing from my yard work of Saturday, when I tangled with black raspberry canes. Oddly, it wasn’t pulling them out that did the damage, it was trying to get them in bags for disposal. I underdressed for this undertaking.

    Frantic few days getting boss ready to leave town, followed by a couple peaceful days by myself in the office…. except having to go straighten out my M-I-L’s finances, as apparently her condo checks are not getting to the right person, so she is getting threatening letters (sigh). Not how I wanted to spend an afternoon.

    6+
  9. I spent most of the week trying to buy a house, but discovered yesterday I’d been outbid. The agent had encouraged me to bid low, and hadn’t told me there was anyone else in the running. The usual estate agent snafu. Although the other people probably went above my limit. And the friend who viewed the house with me was very relieved, because she feared it would be too much for me financially and also to organize.

    Given all this, I’ve been struggling to edit the book on statistics. Finally had a response re my fear I’m really not the right person to edit this book, since I just can’t understand it (a first for my editing career, as far as I can remember). Turns out they don’t have anyone more numerate, except a proof-reader. So I’ll carry on – but it means I’m not managing to do as many hours as I should, since my brain keeps frying.

    8+
      1. I’m focusing on finding something even better. I think they can probably get near what they’re asking, and that’s beyond my budget. (Besides the current buyer, it turns out the previous sale that had fallen through could be revived in a couple of months, and she’s definitely happy to pay more than me.)

        6+
        1. I went through this with a couple of houses and was dreadfully disappointed – until the absolutely right house for me turned up and fell into my arms with so little trouble. There’s a terrific Rumi quote about that goes something like: “As the thirsty one seeks the water, so the water seeks the thirsty one.’

          So your house is out there somewhere, looking for you. 🙂

          11+
    1. Dang. You’ve really been through the wringer on this house stuff…although it does sound like you’re dodging a bullet this time. Hang in there with the statistics!

      4+
  10. I’m going into prep mode for the in-law visit this weekend so that means cleaning and yard work and making things safe for MIL who is very unsteady on her feet.

    I finally got around to posting pics of the bed that I painted a couple of weeks ago. I’d take pics of the new flower bed and trellis but the air is currently yellow from all the smoke drifting in from the wildfires to the west of us.

    I’m also working on painting an old 2-piece cabinet and trying to find the time to get some sewing done.

    And working. Can’t forget working.

    8+
  11. Painting and writing. And Monday I bought some new to me base cabinets with drawers. One to replace an old and useless rolling cart. I’ll put a picture on Instagram. And then I’m going to build an Island with the other two cabinets I bought.

    Of course, this all takes forever because the humidity is so high that it takes forever for the paint to dry. So then I’m writing more than I’m painting but as I get paid for writing it’s probably a good thing.

    7+
  12. Preparing to host a library board meeting at my branch, giving a presentation to them, and trying to quell the sick feeling in my stomach at recent budget news. Also, I’m shortstaffed today, so everything will take more effort than it should. If I can get through this evening, the rest of the week shouldn’t be too bad. Except for the budget stuff, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

    5+
  13. I actually achieved some yard work this weekend. Am sure the neighbors appreciate it. Front garden is still tatty but no longer a complete eyesore.

    80% done with revision of novella #8, currently over 23000 words on #17 which may end up around 30K (still a novella, I guess, technically??).

    Am stalking a local dance studio and close to pulling the trigger on setting up jazz coaching.

    6+
  14. I’ve had the most exciting couple of weeks! Last week we were evacuated for 3 days because of the Holy Fire in Southern California. It ravaged the forest behind our community, but miraculously, none of the houses were lost in the fire. These firefighters are amazing! I’ve been so emotional every time I see them driving through the neighborhood still protecting us in case of flare ups.

    And this week I was offered a job, and I accepted. I’m leaving my job of 22-years for a new position. My current employer had informed me that I was only going to be employed through 10/01, since he has sold the company. It felt so good to find something before that deadline. It’s a government job, so it has good benefits. The pay is really low, less than what I’m making now, but the pay increases are supposed to be steady. And above all, they have been so friendly and warm, and it feels like it’s going to be a good fit.

    So on my agenda for the week is being grateful for the wonderful things going on in my life!

    23+
  15. I sent the third book in the new trilogy to my agent late last night, so I’m footloose and fancy free for the first time in three years. Waiting to see what wants to be written next. Writing some school workshops. Weeding around my fruit trees. Preparing for a quick trip up to Sydney for Book Week.

    9+
  16. I’ve been trying to reapply for food stamps for the coming year. However, the website won’t let me log on because I can’t remember the password I used last year. My computer keeps asking if I want it to remember my password, but that is no help if I applied on a library machine last year. And applying by mail is just asking for your paperwork to be lost. I hope my bil can help me find my file.

    8+
    1. I write all my passwords, usernames and the email account I used in a little address book. There’s no way anyone can remember all of them. I’d also expect every site to have a ‘forgotten your password?’ option, where they’ll email you back with a temporary password that’ll get you into your account where you can set up a replacement.

      In the UK, all government sites share the same log-in details, which makes things simpler as well.

      Good luck!

      2+
  17. I reorganised my kitchen, so that’s feeling better now even if I’m the only one who can currently find anything.

    Reviews are done and in, but I’m stalling on my own writing.

    5+
  18. I finally remembered to take pictures of the jewelry I make (when not running The Artisans’ Guild shop or writing books or wrangling cats). AND I remembered the #Workingwednesdaypix tag on Instagram, which is a miracle. Now let’s see if posting the links puts me back in moderation hell…

    A turquoise Zuni bear
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmg_xTGh5V3/?taken-by=deborahblakeauthor

    and one of the more unusual stones I use, a purple beauty called charoite
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmg_7wkh7I7/?taken-by=deborahblakeauthor

    There are a couple of other pieces there too.

    I spent much of the morning with a plumber who was investigating the old pipes and upstairs rooms and creepy basement, in hopes that I could put in an upstairs bathroom (in what is now a closet but was a bathroom before they moved it downstairs) and extend the forced hot water heat up there.

    All I can hear now is “KA-CHING!”

    2+
  19. Yup. Adding the links put me into moderation hell. Or at least hell’s anteroom. Is there any way to avoid this, Jenny? Am I doing something wrong? (I’m still new to Instagram.)

    2+
    1. I think links do that to everybody. You should see the spam folder: tons of viagra links.
      However I check in here pretty regularly, at least twice a day, so once I’m up, you’re out of moderation. And you don’t go into the spam folder because the blog recognizes your e-mail, etc. Patience, grasshopper.

      3+
      1. Patience? Patience? What?

        Heh.

        My favorite poster when I was a teen was a picture of two vultures sitting in a tree overlooking Death Valley. One was saying to the other, “Patience, hell. I just want to kill something.”

        (My second favorite picture, which I put on my door–and remember, I was a Jewish kid–was a cool pen and ink drawing of Jesus that said, “Tell them I said you could wear your hair any length you want.” Yes, I DID grow up in the 60’s.)

        Thanks!

        2+
  20. Are all the inlaws visiting this week? Ours visit tomorrow. Yesterday was All The Laundry, today was Clean All The Things. I did dining, living, bath and garden rooms. My husband took the kitchen, only fair since he’s the one who uses it. He also has a pretty developed flair for not cleaning, so justice. Bedroom’s already done because a few weeks ago I felt a need to establish tidiness.
    This time tomorrow, I’ll be free!

    8+
  21. Sheena Jade, thank you for your kind words last week! It’s so nice to feel understood, and knowing you and Katie.Redhead are in he same boat is definitely comforting. Here’s to the years were spending making these babies and toddlers into real people!

    A scene, earlier this evening–
    Baby: (screams)
    Toddler: (is climbing all over me)
    Me: Ok, Toddler, hang on, right now I have to focus on Baby, but as soon as he’s settled I’m focus on you, ok?
    Toddler: Ok!
    Baby: (still screaming)
    Me: (attempting to swaddle swirling baby)
    Toddler: (yelling, in my ear) FOCUS, MAMA, FOCUS!!!!!

    …at least we’re all on the same page.

    And speaking of pages, I owed my crit group ten yesterday and have written zero. That makes…five or six months in a row? Sigh. But they probably don’t want to crit lesson plans, grant applications, or emails.

    At least the house is painted (and looking great–I’d post a picture, but it’s raining), my mother came over to make dinner and stayed to do the dishes (a saint), both kids are asleep (for now), and my back-to-school-means-new-germs cold is NEARLY gone…

    So maybe I’ll go see if I even remember who’s who in that damn WIP before the baby demands his next meal! 🍼

    House in progress , the boys on our big weekend, and a bonus shot of Dada teaching Toddler to change the oil, all tagged retroactively, because none of the work I did personally was very photogenic this week!

    3+
  22. I’m feeling under the weather. So just hanging in there.
    And I voted! yesterday in my local primaries. American friends make sure you’re registered to vote in November. It’s sooo important!

    8+
  23. It’s my wedding anniversary, so I’m trying not to work!

    But of course I discussed audio rights, sent out ARC’s, reviewed a printer copy, and wrote 1000 words (not good ones), before/while heading out to Quebec City.

    We’re going whale watching tomorrow. Camping. “Hope I don’t die,” I told a few friends. I’m not a camping person, but when blue whales are within driving distance, we’ve got to go see blue whales. Save the whales!

    12+
  24. I’m in the home stretch of the reno on the duplex unit up in the Arctic. It is bloody cold with a north west wind. At home there is a heat wave and lots of smoke of all the forest fires in the province and the state next to me. Still I want to go home. I am very tired at night, fall asleep for an hour or two with the dog, Chester and cat, Racer. I’m staying at a cousin’s home and can see the mighty Mackenzie River. Today the sun came out. Woohoo. I think I have lost 5 pounds after 2 weeks of hard work.

    Watching The Great British Baking Show, it’s pie week.

    5+
  25. It’s still Wednesday for a bit. I didn’t work again today. My schedule was shifted around so a cow-orker could attend In Service Training. I worked for him Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, now I have two off before finishing the week.

    I finally watched the last two episodes of “The Orville.” There’s been a sort of romance under-plot all season. Episode 12 put the kibosh on it, for the same reason the military discourages romance (or even just sex) between seniors and subordinates. I don’t know how permanent that will be – the skipper’s ex-wife is his first mate (she may have been that, too) and got him the job. Overall, I like the show. It isn’t Star Trek but it could be, and I liked Trek.

    I saw someone mention cleaning garages, and someone mention back-to-school supplies. I’m *that* grandparent. I bought all the supplies except backpacks for two first graders, one middle schooler and one freshman. He’s actually still in the Junior High and the grade system here in PG, VA, is worse than what I grew up with. They publish lists and the stores have the lists from all the local schools.

    So the garage (my apartment) has boxes of crayons, pencils, pens, sharpeners, notebooks, binders, reams of college ruled and regular ruled notebook paper, a ream of copy paper, a scientific calculator, staplers, staples, staple removers, rulers, “math sets” (not just protractors and compasses anymore), facial tissue, yada yada yada. My place will be clean again when all those supplies are transferred to their respective places of learning.

    At least I’m not officially the grandparent responsible for school clothing (but I don’t kid myself. I will be, somehow.)

    I’m thankful I can still work and afford to help. This Sunday, I’m going to the Zoo. 🙂

    5+
  26. We are in clutter overload over here, despite our best effort. My therapist gave me a new slant on my 11yo’s room, said to take everything out and only put back the stuff that will support her as a successful middle schooler. So, after I took the girls camping with another mom last week, that’s what we did. There are currently boxes and laundry baskets galore in the garage and the hallway, but her room is clean and there’s new pegboard up to hang things on. We’ll get there.
    We are prepping for school, but I’ve developed pleurisy, which is inflammation of the lining around my lung. Hurts to take a deep breath. Which is annoying and scary – the pain in on my left side, so I ended up in the ER wondering if I was having a heart attack. The pleurisy should go away on its own, same way it came. Dislike.
    And it’s not terribly crafty, but I put all the insignia and new patches on my new Girl Scout Cadette’s vest, which made me proud.

    6+
    1. Oh goddess. I’ve had pleurisy. It’s horrible. You have all my sympathy. (I remember saying to the doctor, “People still get that? I thought it went out with consumption!” But apparently, it is more common than I knew.)

      1+
  27. I spun a bunch of yarn. I *think* I have finished the backdrop for a project. I got very good reviews on the piece I submitted to writing group!

    4+
  28. Book meeting. We worked on the cover art, signed contracts, and set a timeline for everything that needs to be done before publication, which is October. Eek!

    3+

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