Working Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I fixed a bad scene.  Okay, I didn’t fix it, I trashed it and started over and wrote a good scene instead.  It took me two weeks of thinking to figure it out, but I’m very proud.  (I don’t think I ever showed anybody here that scene, did I?  The one in Rich’s cabin with the baph and Thanatos?  It had everybody in it, which is probably why it was a mess, although I feel that a giant goat from hell improves any scene.)

What did you make this week?

75 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 8, 2018

  1. Sometimes the only way to improve something is to burn it to the ground and start over. I’m in week two of classes and trying to decide and implement two curricula and invent a third, meet criteria for a grant, coach new teachers, and remodel my classroom. Oh, and I’ve got the baby–so I’m also spending most of the “free” time I have pumping because he’s still nursing. 😂

    My mother heard some statistic about a baby requiring 33 extra hours a week of time, which send insanely low to me.

    But I made Reader’s Notebooks with my new class and I think I’ll really going to like them (the notebooks AND the students) so that’s good.

    Today the painters finally come to do the outside of our house, too, which has taken over a year of frustrating to bring to fruition. Renewal everywhere!

    Now off to pump before school. Happy Wednesday, everybody!

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    1. I am not much of a commenter most of the time but I read this blog almost every day and I’m delurking to finally say I really enjoy your updates. I have an 11 month old daughter and a son who is almost 2 1/2 and a fairly demanding career as well. I just applied for a management position at work and I’m sitting here having a heart attack about how many balls I can possibly keep in the air at one time and this makes me feel less alone! Haha we’re also painting our house and refinishing our giant front deck this summer but my husband is insane so we’re doing it ourselves (and by ourselves I mean with an insane degree of help from my parents). I am heartily jealous of your arriving painters!

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      1. Same! An almost 2.5 year old son and daughter who just turned 1 over the weekend.
        The estimated 33 hours a week seems low to me too – unless that’s just the hours of sleep you lose? But my baby tracker has me spending an average of 4 hours a day just nursing/pumping. (That’s with us already having started down the road to weaning!) And as a small business owner whose house is about to undergo serious renovation, I also wonder how the balls can possibly stay up in the air. I keep telling myself it’s pretty much just like Jenny’s “Don’t Look Down” when she’s writing her first draft. You just have to go for it, and not worry about perfection, and trust that somehow it will all ultimately get to the place you need it to go. Also – the help of good, reliable babysitters and sympathetic people who will say “poor baby! it will be all right” and then distract you with all the wonderful and weird stuff that they’re dealing with too when you just need a break.

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  2. Nope, haven’t read that scene. Do you need more beta readers? I’d be happy to offer ;-).

    It’s great to hear you’re well enough to be writing again.

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    1. I figured for betas this time I’d go back and find everybody who commented several times on the stuff I’d posted before. But that’s a long ways off yet. I could post the Bad Scene and the Good Scene, I suppose. Just so people could see how badly my first drafts go. Of course, you’ve already seen that, so no point.

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  3. Giant goats from hell definitely nicely improve things. Yay, for scene improvement. I am wrestling a blurb. And made banana cake 😀

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  4. I’ve been battling depression (not the clinical kind; just feeling very low), but now am dealing with nervous excitement, since I’ve found a possible house to buy. Saw it yesterday – I took a friend, because I was worried my depression would get in the way, and I really need to find something a.s.a.p. Going again tomorrow, this time with my surveyor. Since I’ve got a fixed amount of money, I need to be confident I can afford to do whatever needs doing to it.

    I’ve realized what my secret agenda is: I want to look out at greenery. This is more important than most of my practical checklist. This one’s an ex-council house with a big-enough garden (currently with a giant Christmas tree at the end of it). The front looks west across a quiet street to long grass and tall trees: a little linear park along the line of Wat’s Dyke, which is a Saxon earthwork. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-66015193.html

    It’s not in my favourite bit of town, but it’s not that far from it. So fingers crossed.

    And for light relief, I’m editing an introduction to statistics. It’s making me really glad I stuck to arts subjects after the age of sixteen (which is mean, because the author obviously wants to enthuse his readers).

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    1. It looks great, and you’re right: green out all the windows. That’s my tipping point, too. Mollie wants me to leave the lake and move closer, but I won’t unless there’s enough land for the dogs to run (small dogs, they don’t run far) and green everywhere I look. So, nope, staying here. Those rooms look like they have a lot of light, too, which is number two on my list of must haves.

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      1. I’m addicted to light, too; but here I think the front will be shaded in the afternoon and evening by the huge trees across the road – and I’ve realized the green view trumps the light. I’d like to make the rear upstairs room, with two windows, my workspace, though – so should have plenty of morning sun.

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        1. You know, you can manipulate light. I’m big on mirrors; put them across from windows and you have two windows. I’m also thinking seriously about skylights in my workroom and over the stairs. I really like that house. Fingers crossed for you.

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          1. JaneB, The house looks really nice — I hope you get it. The back garden looks like it has tons of potential for your gardening. Mostly, I’m jealous that you have the opportunity to be in the same neighborhood as some Saxon earthworks.

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          2. Skylights make a HUGE difference. The room I quilt in has one, along with a cathedral ceiling (I know you don’t like cathedral ceilings, but in a tiny room, they’re really great), and the rest of my house (200+ years old) is so dark, so the better light is even more appreciated.

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      2. I live in a city and it’s just too concrete and false for me to ever be happy here. I crave actual nature.

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        1. Mollie lives in a beautiful NJ suburb, but all the houses are packed close together and I want to scream every time I’m there. Not at her house; she managed to find the original farmhouse on the land the neighborhood was built on, and it’s at the end of a curved street with a huge side yard, nothing on the other side, and a huge gorgeous park behind it (that’s she’s president of). So her house is great. Everything else, not so much, although it’s a lovely neighborhood. Here, I have Dennis on one side and Kathleen across the street and Carl catty-corner from me, and everything else is trees and lake and bears. And Dennis and Kathleen and Carl are all darlings, so it’s lovely. But I never see my kid and her kids because it’s an hour away in horrible traffic. So . . .

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    2. Hoping this works out for you, Jane. But as a mystery writer who looked at your listing details I’ve gotta ask: What’s the deal about money laundering regulations? Have never seen that in a property listing before, lol.

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      1. Must be standard EU/UK stuff. They’ve tightened up, which seems to mostly make things more onerous for us honest people without doing much to stop it. You have to prove your ID, basically, to banks, solicitors, etc.

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        1. Ah. Got it. Funny because proving ID for legal transactions has always been standard here as far as I know. Seems pretty basic. Would never have tied it to laundering just common procedure.

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  5. Oh, no! Just wrote a long comment, but it disappeared when I posted it. Will wait a bit in the hope it rematerializes. Maybe it’s because I included a link? (Sorry, if so.)

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    1. The thing I particularly like about it is that it is pretty much a blank slate, i.e., you don’t have a lot of the previous owner’s design disasters to try to work around either in the house or outside. Anything you do to it will be your personal choices.

      The other thing I like about it is you don’t have a building contractor dragging his feet about finishing it. And it looks as though the family has already moved out so once the paper work is done, you would be good to go.

      I have already mentally placed a few planters by the front door and put some bedding plants under the front window. There really are a lot of mature trees in the neighborhood. This could work.

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      1. It’s been rented out, so there’s wear and tear, especially in the kitchen. I need to establish what I’d need to do before moving in.

        I’ve felled the Christmas tree, put up sturdy supports for climbers on all the boundaries and both sides of the house, created seating areas to catch the sun at various times of day, swapped the plastic white door to the garden for a tall wooden garden gate . . .

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          1. The gravel is where she will park her car I think. I was also thinking instead of pulling up the pavers, just hit them this fall with Round-Up then in the spring put some laurentia”Blue star creeper”, lamimium “Pink Pewter” or “White Nancy”, or creeping thyme between them which will soften the edges and she will have a nice area to sit and have a table outdoors until she can afford to put in a patio. Then perhaps a small conservatory or sun room off the back of the house so she has a place to sit when it is rainy and still be outside and to start her seedlings and bring in tender plants when it gets cold.

            It really is too bad she is on a limited budget, I have all kinds of great ideas if you don’t mind spending money and have a good handyman.

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          2. The gravel is actually the front garden, along with the privet hedge around it – it’d go and I’d put loads of flowers in; probably take out the hedges, too. There’s room to park in the paved drive, or on the road outside.

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        1. I’ve mentally started work on the kitchen, pulled the pavers up in the rear garden, replaced the laminate with wood and had a chat with my co neighbor about a new fence. Oh, and is there a basement? Real estate taxes? This is fun.

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          1. No basement or attic. Council tax shouldn’t be too high. My budget is tight, so it’d probably be lino in the kitchen and carpet elsewhere downstairs.

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          2. I like lino. After moving many times, the best advice I can give you is “Don’t do anything for at least three months.” Once you’ve lived in a space, you know what works and what doesn’t. The only thing I would do early any more is get rid of mold, insulate, and paint. Big stuff can wait until I see how the space works.

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  6. I am teaching a mosaic class and I am going to try to do a self-portrait, something I’ve been afraid of doing. I’ve had a few students do people, but so far I’ve only done… a dog. I do collages and then mosaic on top, so I am going to put a picture of my face in the middle and then build on top of that (also there was almost no “flesh color” anywhere to use except for clear peach-ish). We’ll see how it goes.

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  7. Well, I got another whirl of yarn, and started a second shawl, to the detriment of productivity both on the first shawl and anything else. But now both shawls are at the same point.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BmOG0zSDC0W/?hl=en&tagged=workingwednesdaypix

    Other than that, I spent time with family, which was nice. And, I continue working to coax Stanley the stray into the house. He’s an exercise in patience, but I think I’ll wear him down in another year or two (or hopefully sooner).

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  8. I’ve mostly just been trying not to melt in the hot/humid weather (with a/c in my bedroom but not my home office). Weather is supposed to turn from totally terrible to just the usual heat of August (which I hate, but can cope with better than the extreme stuff we’ve had for what seems like forever). Oh, and I made zucchini bread with a monster zuke. That counts as working, right?

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  9. I finally got some forward momentum going on the new novel. No picture on Instagram of that, although I could show you the one where the mostly-grown kittens knocked over the basket of clean laundry and spread it all over the floor…

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  10. I have a new Furbaby!!!! Announcement on Twitter. Instagram #WorkingWednesdayPix has a bit of a portrait. My work was the vet visit today for second set of puppy shots. He weighs 19 kg already. German Shepherd Cross with a Boerboel. He’s 4 months old. His previous people couldn’t keep him because he was getting to be too big. We have a giant yard so he gets to do the canine version of Born Free.

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  11. I am on Month 5 of a year-long quilt class, so I’m happy about that. Then over the weekend, I made a quilt top for a silent auction. It’s to benefit a neighbor who has been diagnosed with cancer. When I took it to the longarm quilter, I sweet-talked him into donating the quilting. So Yay!!

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  12. I put mini-mosaic on a notebook. Put sort-of-step-by-step-pictures on Twitter and made a thread of it:
    https://twitter.com/shassmusic/status/1026127327456059394
    …unfortunately (AND apparently…) there’s more of my bare legs on one of the pixs than of the notebook…whooops. But since MIL pointed it out hours after I had already posted it and was very vague about what was wrong with the picture, I haven’t removed it. So have some notebook AND legs…..

    I started on a second notebook, a smaller one and with other colour mosaic, but I didn’t have enough mosaic to finish it, so will do that when I have ordered some more.

    I also made three piggybanks: Two bears (one silver and white with blue & pink bow and one pink and white with blue and pink bow) and a pink and silver owl. The pink bear and owl were orders, the silver one just…happened. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of those yet. Maybe next week.

    Currently visiting my family in Sweden, so what I’ll be doing the most the coming days is try to stay sane. And TRY TO swat flies (horses and cows all over the place [the cows aren’t ours, by the way]). And hug my cat. <3

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    1. I think the leg picture comment may have been because it looks like you aren’t wearing anything besides the shirt.

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      1. Actually… I didn’t. Because it was Fiancé’s shirt and is 5 sizes larger than me, and it was hot as hell that day and I was at home. I would delete and repost if I had another picture of the half-finished work – on the other hand, I have snown it here now so technically I can remove the steps now.

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  13. Have finished the revision of novella #7, and re-published. Two to go for the series rewrite to be complete.

    Almost 6500 words into #17. This one is making me realize/verbalize just how deeply frustrated I am about a lot of things. Oy vey. Am hoping that being self-aware will keep me from doing anything terrible IRL.

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  14. I have been working on putting my house back together since the new carpet is installed. My sewing room is almost back together. I just need to put stuff up on the walls. I have also done a lot of painting. I painted the upstairs hallway, more trim, and the first side of eight out of 13 doors.

    Here’s a picture of the doors: https://instagram.com/p/BmOjgSdhD8E/

    Now, back to painting.

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  15. Pupdate. The story so far:

    We picked him up yesterday evening. His previous people called him Buster. Which I was fine with because I figured I could add ‘Rhymes’ to it and he’d be great.
    Got him home and acclimated a bit after a good feed.
    The veto committee decided he needs a new name.
    I woke up today determined to get a Star Trek/Wars, Buffy, or Firefly name.
    I decided on Captain Worf, “Ramming speed” came to mind because the pupper is BIG. And it sounds close to Woof. The committee agreed. Yes!

    I got home from work to find that the committee decided we need a two syllable name. And fast, because we need to register the new name with the vet. So I asked the hive mind. Aka twitter. Thanks to all who participated.

    Continued on Instagram, with another pic. He knows to sit for photos y’all!!!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BmOpzsAhWaw/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1nn4f406qd66n

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    1. If you don’t look out you’ll find he’s called Pupper. That’s what happened with our cat. We tried on all kinds of names, while calling her Puss in the meanwhile. Puss stuck.

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  16. I’ve previously mentioned living in my daughter’s garage, a father-in-law apartment. For all the discussions of green and light, I must admit to having a single window, and a windowsill covered with plants, plus a couple of hangers. I have to look through my plants to see the too-close neighbor’s house., maybe 100 feet away.

    My computer desk is under that window. It is my preferred location for computing, work or play. I’ll admit that there is an hour in the afternoon when I would lower the blinds, if the plants weren’t in the way. I’m there, now, and I’ve been working on new procedures for work. That’s my accomplishment for the week.

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  17. Also, I am loving the shout-outs to Argh authors. I think it is a lovely way for us to be able to support each other. Maybe do one for Barbara Samuel O’Neal’s new book? (It was fabulous.)

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    1. Barb’s a pal but she doesn’t post here, so she’s not really part of the community. Friend of the community. It’s more fun when it’s somebody we’ve been hanging out with.

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        1. You don’t need dignity, you’re a mainstay of the community. What book? (We do non-fiction, too, including tarot decks.)

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  18. I believe YOUR goats make things better, not sure I would agree wholesale. Did you see the video of the 100+ goat that got loose in a suburban neighborhood? I can’t find the link someone shared with me, but there are lots of them out there – very funny.

    JaneB, my fingers are crossed for you!

    SureThing, congrats on the new family member!

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  19. Sent out minutes for two meetings, plus list attachment. Should be easy, right, minutes, but I struggled. Got blindsided into taking notes, endured focus issues, and right now I’m not sure to what degree my notes reflect reality. But the darn words are out there.
    Coffee with friends, regular group, but in summer an hour earlier. Three of us lingered for More Talk, which validates the friendship.
    Got up just past dawn – too hot to sleep. yes, at the beach, why do you ask – and went straight out into the garden to water. No coffee, no newspaper read. Unheard of for me, but natives need early before-the-heat-strikes deep watering and light sprinkle for the leaves. Heritage roses soldiering on.
    Delivered to our yoga instructor (she’s skipping town) a bottle of my favorite New Mexico sparkling wine made by a family of French vintners. I think you can call it Champagne under the circumstances.
    Oh, best thing: I set the heritage rose network in action, and now my friend the nursery archivist can get hands on Golden State, a rose her nursery hybridized for the Treasure Island (San Francisco) World’s Fair eighty years ago. They’ll have it for next year’s anniversary, yay. Chain involves four people, with more off to the side, searching since February. We did it!

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  20. I’m working on my health. I had allergy testing done, and I’m insanely allergic to dust, mildly allergic to some kind of mold and some trees. This means I need to declutter even more, but it will take time.
    I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow.

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    1. I have situational dust allergy — go ahead, flap a carpet in front of me and kill me. We’ve removed carpets and drapes. Wood floors and folding paper blinds sealed in window panes. Also have a cleaning service in every two weeks. Husband and wife grew up here, have all the stories, keep us tied to the community and back when. So not all bad.
      Best wishes to you going forward.

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  21. I’ve been really busy the last 2 weeks or so. I painted our bed, (pics to go on Insta once I finally get my act together and make the bed and take decent photos), worked on the drywall in the laundry room, and did some touch-up painting. Tall Boy and I finished installing the trellis in the front yard and then reinforced the back of a 2-piece cabinet that is going in the laundry room once it’s painted or sometime before winter anyway.

    Work was really busy so I did a lot of that.

    There were a lot of mundane housekeeping chores that needed to be done so I got to them as well.

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  22. Late to the party because I did make something on Wednesday: hummus. Made from scratch with dried garbanzos. The flavor is more complex by cooking them in homemade broth. I ended up with 8 cups of hummus, most of which is frozen into individual size servings, which we can have with fresh garden vegetables the rest of the summer. And I had 6 cups of home-made broth left over. This was used to make herbed meat-balls in mushroom sauce and wild rice on Thursday. Plus on Wednesday I made Cherry Bourbon gelato using fresh uncooked cherries. Yum.

    All this cooking in 98 degree weather is because (1) it was too hot to go outside, (2) the Instant Pot speeds up things tremendously and more important (3) we put in central air when we remodeled last year so the heat wasn’t as much of an issue.

    Today is Friday and I am sick of cooking so we went out to La Petit Provence for breakfast and had eggs Benedict made with a croissant instead of english muffin.

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