Working Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Monday I spent the day trying to get a timeline for Earth/Hell which means I did math.  I happen to think math is beautiful unless I’m doing something like this with tables, trying to make two different timelines match.  I think I’ve got it now, but creative it was not.  Last night, I tried to figure out what kind of porn Ranger Rich would have under his bed.  I decided to leave that up to the imagination of the reader since if there’s one thing I do not want to research, it’s porn.  Today, I’m working on the scene where Marvella tries to burn Nita at the stake.  I’m thinking that one might be a bridge too far for readers,, but what the hell, it popped up as part of the process, so I’ll give it a shot.  Thank god I know how this book ends (I’ve written that scene already).  And now back to trying to find all the scenes I’ve lost because I’m sloppy with the doc-naming . . .

What did you do this week?

72 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, November 14, 2018

  1. I nudged a friend into letting me proofread three chapters of her dissertation-in-progress. She was reluctant to share because two years ago her advisor/dept chair tore up the first chapter she submitted. Only this past summer (after he took a leave from the university) has she been able to return to her writing. The current chair is a Romantic period scholar. Her other two readers will be a Chaucerian and and a Victorian specialist. She hasn’t had any proofreaders or anyone who is interested in her work.

    My friend’s dissertation is on a nun mentioned in a saint’s life written in Winchester, England, in the late 900s. I’m fascinated by the period and by her subject. The chapters I’ve proofread present a specific thesis about a 10th century woman who is explored through depictions of women from the early church through the early Medieval period.

    We met and reviewed the chapters I’d proofread/copy edited. We were both amazed at the fun we were having. I feel terrific.

    1. That sounds interesting. I’d like to know more.

      As to what I’m doing, I’m working on fixing things. At work, I’m working on mucking up my software, so we can do a process. In a few weeks, I get to unmuck it.

      I’m working on restoring my house to it’s normal level of chaos. We had a bug lady in to work on dealing with fleas. Yes, in November, near Milwaukee, you can still have flea infestations. Something I did not need to learn about first hand. The kids’ rooms are mostly restored. The living room, kitchen and our room – not so much. The office remains a pit from hell.

      I pointed out to my spouse that once we/I get it all back together, we’re going to have to take it apart again to vacuum. And probably have the bug lady come back.

    2. Sounds fascinating. I vaguely remember the ‘Ancrene Riwle’ (not sure of the spelling), about the life of an anchoress; and of course Julian of Norwich, although both could be later than your parameters. And, of course, those early Church women were often powerful; what’s-her-name of Whitby, and all those Saxon princesses/saints, like Werburgh of Chester Cathedral. Just south of Oswestry there’s a St Winifred’s Well, on a pilgrim route up to Holywell on the north Welsh coast; but my favourite local saint is Melangell, who was an Irish princess fleeing an arranged marriage who found sanctuary in a valley near here and miraculously protected a hare from being killed by the Prince of Powys and his huntsmen. I take her as a role model; a strong, independent yet loving woman.

    3. That sounds fascinating! Please tell her a random stranger on the internet really wants to read her dissertation – happy to be a second set of eyes and gentle in the gaze.

      I’ve been brainstorming a plot while binge-watching a stupid reality TV show that makes me laugh so I don’t freak out about finding the balance between my physical limitations and my need to make a living.

  2. I’m not doing much of anything. I took out most of the improvised shawl I have been doing and I still can’t force myself to apply for any jobs that I don’t really want, probably require me to move and don’t seem like they would be much better than what I got. But my transferred-back-to-hell job will only get worse, so…Why can’t I make myself do this? There aren’t good options out there and I gotta take what I can get and I really don’t want to run my own business.

    Really what it boils down to is that I don’t want to have to be the receptionist and phone answerer and every single job wants that.

    1. I work in a call center, I feel you. I wasn’t applicable for anything else, and i couldn’t motivate myself to apply to the same thing I knew I hated, but finally i bit the bullet and moved to one my friend told me wasn’t so bad. The anxiety and hate i had for my old job became too much not to. Best decision I ever made. I’m so less stressed and less depressed for a new work environment. And even though it’s still a call center, it is better. I say take the plunge and move, if nothing else it will revitalize you with newness. Otherwise you stagnate in what you know and hate.

      1. Hah, my work closed today due to smoke and I am still not doing anything. Except reading a choose your own adventure romance called “My Lady’s Choosing.”

        Argh. I know, I know! I hit myself on the head about it all the time! Just pick some semi-crap jobs and spend hours arguing that I should get them!

        1. I used to be a human resources manager decades ago. The most important thing about a job is the people you work with. Almost any job is a crap job when you work with toxic people. So changing the job may make it a lot less awful.

          The other thing (from management’s view point) is it is better to hire someone into an entry level job, access their capabilities, then give them an opportunity to advance. That way you limit the damage someone who does a great interview but a lousy job can do. A lot of companies give current employees first consideration for job openings so you might take a look at the over-all company to see if they are doing work you might like. The company I worked for would not let you apply for a new job until you passed your six-month assessment though. (Exceptions were made at the management level when you were really hiring someone with the idea of using them to fill an opening you knew was going to occur in the near future and you wanted to access them before getting stuck with an expensive exit-package if they were not going to fit into the company’s community).

      2. I work in a call center, too. (25+ years). “Otherwise you stagnate in what you know and hate.” Truer words have never been spoken.

        It wasn’t always this horrendous. I keep hoping it will get better. Or at least tolerable. 🙁

        1. I need to move out of the type of job. But that’s hard to do on a personal level, and professional. I start to feel like this is all I’m good for. My current call center is loads better, though.

          1. I speak with a lot of senior citizens in Florida. I *love* them. Very seldom do I get an unhappy caller that I can’t jolly out of their mood. (I also have a lot more respect for seniors than a lot of the other people in the call center. I jut love them!).

            Boss miscalculated and sent out the stats of our calls, and how much phone time we had. I had 3 minutes an hour where my phone didn’t ring. Whereas, same call center, working with a different region of the country–can have as much as 25 minutes between a call. 🙁

            *AND* I have supposedly made it to the top of the pay scale for my position. Of course, they do give a 3% check each year. Instead of a raise. So, I’m making the same amount I made 4 years ago. 🙁

            Seniority? Longevity? Loyalty? They all count for nothing.

            I do love the customers I speak to though. They all have a story.

            (Before I was just Florida:

            I spoke to a Hatfield from Kentucky… and after I fixed his issue, I told him: “I have to ask you a question that I *know* you’ve never been asked before”… He laughed and said “I know what you are going to ask, and yes. On both sides. My grandfather was a Hatfield, my grandmother was a McCoy”.
            How much fun that call was! Can you imagine your family being part of the culture, the history of a country!! When they were just trying to survive.

            And, THEN, I spoke with a Dula in Missouri. I fixed his issue, and then I said: “Now I’m going to have that song in my head all day.” 🙂 He said: “He’s actually a distant relative”. !!! I told him that I had lived in Statesville, where the trial actually happened, and lived for 25 years in Surry County, which is the next county over from Wilkes County… where it all happened. We decided it was a small world. 🙂 And I do believe Mr. Dooley was innocent.

            I love talking to people. Their stories. “We have been married for 77 years”. Me: Ma’am were you 12 when you got married?” We both laughed, and she said “No, 20”.

            I wish I could have the people I speak to, along with respect. Then it would be a great job. 🙂

          2. Liking who you talk to makes a huge difference! I’m glad you find joy in them! You need time between calls just to not be on all the time. My call center actually tries to get us time between calls, it’s crazy!

  3. Maybe it’s a little too sit-comy, but I always prefer when you see the other characters’ (PG) reaction to porn than any specific reference to porn. I’m thinking of those scenes when someone discovers some else’s porn stash (which is different from a porn ‘stache) and says something like “wait, is that an elbow or?” And then they do something silly and turn it sideways. Not sure if that’s the type of scene you’re writing, but yes, generally the less you research porn on the internet, the happier you will be. Don’t look for something unless you’re certain it’s a thing you want. Words to live by 😉

    Today I went for a run and then ate leftover stuffed pasta shells as my personal brunch (yum!) Special Olympics is over, so we’re back to speech on Wednesday. I’m also contemplating a run to the store for milk, sugar, butter. Regular readers of Working Wednesday will guess where this is going. 😉 I have my fingers crossed that we will get a sleet/snow day tomorrow for kids and for me. Anything but the two hour delay. That just messes everyone up.

    1. It’s not that important in the book. Nita is looking for an acamas box under Richiel’s bed and finds the porn, so it’s mostly a throwaway line.

      1. Leave it to the reader’s imagination – that will be far more bizarre than anything you could put into words.

  4. This has been a week of two halves. It started by giving me probable dates for my move, so I lined up people to help and went window shopping for curtain material, cooker, etc. I was really happy that it looked like I’d be in a fortnight before Christmas. We were due to exchange this Monday and complete next, the 19th.

    On Monday morning I took a couple of friends to look at the outside of the house, and we found the owner’s family doing the final clearance. The daughter who’s handling the sale was there and invited us to have a look round. I asked how her mother was, and she told me she’d died a couple of weeks ago; ‘But the death was only registered a week ago’ – as if that meant it wouldn’t affect the sale.

    So I contacted my solicitor, who confirmed that you couldn’t buy from a dead person, and that the daughter would need to get probate before we could proceed. So I’ve had to cancel everyone; and if it does get done relatively fast, it’s probably going to coincide with Christmas.

    I went to Powis yesterday, in search of more peace – I found lots of leaf colour and some fat rosehips ( I’m feeling better today, especially since I bumped into a fellow artist who invited me to go to them for Christmas Day, which should be fun; and just now I’ve finally got some work out of Penguin – a rush book on Brexit, but at least I’ll be earning.

    1. Noooo.
      At least my owner isn’t dead. Yet. His agent appears to be on permanent vacation, though. The closing date is not set and I haven’t contacted any movers yet but I’m putting things into boxes in hopes that I don’t have to take them out again. That’s what I’m working on.

      1. Operating on the fingers crossed approach. Like me until Monday – but you have to get things organized or it’d be an impossible last-minute rush. I’m afraid with mine I’m probably not going to know much in advance at all; and of course Christmas is going to complicate finding a decorator at short notice. I need to go in and have a closer look at everything: I realized on our whirlwind tour on Monday that the ceilings do need doing (I’d been gambling on them and the woodwork being OK as they are).

        Good luck!

    2. Oh, boy. I always dreaded (as a closing attorney) finding out that the seller was an heir, because too often the deal got all the way to my office (anywhere from several weeks to several months after signing the contract) without anyone telling the sellers that they needed to go through probate, which in my state requires either a license to sell (requires extra paperwork and notice periods unless all the heirs assent) to expedite the waiting period, or else waiting a year from the date of death. Not fun having to explain that to people when the real estate agent hadn’t. Good luck (seriously, not facetiously meant).

      1. Yes: unfortunately, the daughter’s using the conveyancing firm attached to the estate agents (who get a cut), rather than a solicitor. The first thing I’d have done, if I were them, is explain to the daughter what would need to be done if her mother died. Mind you, I’m gobsmacked the daughter hadn’t looked into this for herself: it was the first thing I Googled when offering for the property. It does look like all the family are agreed – they were certainly all positive about the sale on Monday.

  5. Today I am working with an eleven-year-old who was suspended from school. She is the child of one of my best friends, and she was going to have to take the week off work to stay home. I said to bring her to my house.

    Currently, she is doing math while I write. I started her a year lower than I thought she should be, just to see what she can do.

    I wish there was something I could do to REALLY help her, but I know nothing about attachment disorder. So what I do is try to give the child a positive experience, but not reward her for the bad behavior that got her kicked out of school.

    It’s a balancing act.

    Next we are baking bread.

      1. Not really. I just love my friend (she’s like the really great sister that I never had. I only have brothers,) and she really needs a break. I can’t do much, but this I can. And it makes me feel good about myself so it’s self-serving.

        1. I loved this comment. I never realized the power in feeling good about yourself until my mom had a major stroke and I stepped up to be her guardian. It was really difficult to show up 4 times a week, more if she was ill, take her to therapy and raise hell if she was not getting the level of care I thought she should.

          We had a fraught relationship and I was not her favorite, and yes she did play favorites and she had a capacity to cause trouble that was unrivaled. But what happened to her I would not want to happen to my worst enemy, let alone my mother and I did my best to make her feel that I loved her and cared for her, especially since my siblings were missing in action. And the end of 17 years, I found that I was a nicer person than I had ever thought I could be. So, yes, doing things that make you feel good about yourself may be self-serving but it is also a good thing to do.

          1. I am in a similar situation. Moved mom in after a stroke. While living in a rental after our house burnt down, (while building a new home). Don’t know how it will turn out, but I can’t envision having regrets. Also my children now have an explanation for why I’m so weird. I’m finally the favorite, and I don’t care.

          2. Amyll, you are also teaching your children not to abandon you if something like that happened to you. My Mom never spent 5 minutes doing anything for my grandmother and she would always say “Oh, I guess I am just closer to Auntie J”. Then she wondered why her children, before her stroke, never did what she thought they should do for. I always told her, “Mom, that’s how you raised us”. As I said we had a fraught relationship.

          3. My step-daughter’s mom had a massive heart attack at 52 (secondary to long-term kidney failure) and had to be moved into a nursing home here in town. Jenn lives in San Jose, across the country, and was finally getting her life together. There was no one else who was willing or able to take over, so I stepped up. For the next three years I managed Jo’s care in a nursing home, went to care meetings, dealt with money and health issues, and visited her every week. (Jenn visited when she could, but CA is a long way away.)

            People kept telling me I was a saint, but I wasn’t. I just did what needed to be done, and what I hoped someone would do for me if it was ever necessary. What the Jews call being a mensch. When she died this last February, I was surprised at how much I missed my duties. We were never friends, exactly, except that maybe we were.

  6. I am working at the wheel this week, every chance I get.

    I frequently struggle with the gap between what I *want* to be making, and what I am currently *capable* of making…I’ve only been doing pottery semi-regularly for a couple of years, and while I love continually inching my way along the learning curve, there are times when I get really frustrated by how often the things I make just don’t have the spark I was aiming for. Every so often, I pull this Ira Glass snippet up to remind myself this is normal (thought I’d share in case others struggle with this too, though as far as I can tell, you all make brilliant things…but of course, creative endeavors often look very different from the inside!):

    I know a Ranger Rick, who I once worked with to re-draft a city ordinance. At a guess, I’d say he likes very vanilla porn involving airbrushed women wearing nothing but hiking boots. But it’s not actually something that we discussed, so I suppose this is an example of letting the reader fill in her own details.

  7. Hmm. Ranger Rich. I read that at first as Ranger Rick, which is the name of a kid’s magazine in these parts. The only reading material I’d associate with that name is G-rated:)

    1. Actually that’s been bothering me. I read that mag as a kid and send it to my nephews. It’s published by National Wildlife Federation.
      Jenny you might want to think about changing his name…

      1. Nope, that’s why I called him Ranger Rich.
        His real name is Richiel, if that helps.

        Wasn’t Ranger Rick a raccoon?

        Just googled: Yep. I don’t see people getting a demon who reads porn confused with a cartoon raccoon.

        1. Maybe it’s cartoon raccoon porn. With masks and handwashing fetishes. Maybe striped tails. Nocturnal like vampires. Twilight raccoon porn???

  8. I made fawaffles: falafels in the waffle maker. Then put the traditional accompaniments (including yogurt-tahini sauce) on top, tartine style. A-MAZing. Eliminates the pita, which I can’t eat anyway (I’ve never found a good gluten- free one).

    I love soup but was getting tired of eating so much liquid-y spoon fare. I craved something more chewable, so I bought a mini waffle maker for $10 which does the job admirably. They don’t get quite cooked enough in the waffle maker but crisp up to perfection in the toaster. That also means I can store a pre-cooked batch of waffles in the fridge/freezer and pop them in the toaster any time.

    I can’t claim the idea. I first saw it on the My New Roots website. Now I want to wafflize everything: hash browns, omelet, stuffing.

  9. I’ve been finishing more quiltlets — four here:

    That leaves two that need binding (but I need to dig through more scraps to choose the binding — all the others already had the binding chosen) and one that I’m going to make into a pillow cover because it’s too cute to do nothing but absorb cat fur.

    I’m also working on NOT getting distracted to other projects before I finish this batch of projects. But when sorting out some other stuff, I came across some fabric I got to make a tote bag (the grocery-lugging variety, not fashion), and now I want to make that and some others with some denim I got on clearance. It’s a good project, getting rid of incomplete projects, but I need to finish the quiltlets first or I never will.

  10. Do you know what would happen if you researched porn on the internet? For the next month all you would see when you logged on would be adds for porn this and porn that. Not that I have but I know that anytime I’ve had to research anything from appliances to a new winter coat I get more pop ups from companies and web sites.

    I’ve been baking cookies for the holidays but they haven’t quite made it to the freezer. It’s all that quality control.

    1. Seconding Jane–AdBlock is a good one. You can also try researching in an “incognito” window (“private browsing mode” in some browsers), which is how I look into Christmas gifts without leaving clues behind.

    1. That necklace – earring set is beautiful! Makes me think of arrowheads from long, long, long, long ago. The stones are incredible. Picked them up off the driveway, right?

  11. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been yo-yoing back and forth between three different books, all of which I very much want to write. But everything I did felt horribly flat and dragging. This morning I suddenly realised that I went straight from my second last book to my last one without a break, and now here I’m trying to start another one, again without a break.

    So I’m taking a break! Going to garden mostly, I think. Even the notion of it is a huge relief.

  12. I’ve spent days on trying to book the best for me fare to Australia. Hard to find a good one during the holidays, but I managed to get creative. My mum will be ninety-five years old in December. When I told her I’d stay in a hotel so as not to put any burden on her, or my sisters, she said well what’s the fun in that. So, I’ll stay, but I’ll do the majority of the cooking.

  13. We’ve been very busy this last week. Tall Boy bought a wood lathe on his last days off and on Thursday we went into Edmonton to pick up our new kitchen cabinet and some accessories for the lathe. We installed the cabinet, cleaned the garage and started getting it ready to turn it into a wood shop, brought some of my half-finished projects and my antique sewing machine into the house, took the year-end books to the accountant, and took Fred to the vet for his 1-year puppy shots. And today we moved the boat and I rewrote my resume.

    Nothing is really finished but a lot of things are on their way to finished.

    It’s 6:50 p.m. and I’m ready for bed.

    1. “Nothing is really finished…”

      I got tired just reading about all the things you accomplished. Think of it as project management – each step is a step on the checklist and you cleared a lot of steps.

  14. Taught the preschooler to twirl so I could take before and after videos of his haircut… Which I gave him! I’m a self-taught hair artisan, but I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for the last thirteen years, so I’ve gotten good at that one exact cut, and kiddo’s is close enough.

    Of course, it’s all so I can spend the entire household haircut budget on myself… Which I also did today, during my planning period at school, no less! I also got my eyebrows done. AND had a cheeseburger! Then I had to head back to school for a meeting. Still though, a very productive day.

  15. I helped my little sister with her resume, and fed her dinner, and gave her a cute mug because you should have something positive to mark life changes. She’s taking a year off from college for mental health reasons- bad anxiety and depression- so when she asked if she could come over, I said of course. She’s got a good therapist, and her antidepressants are helping. If she can find a job that gives her structure and income without being a place she hates, I think she’ll be on her way to being in a better mental place.

  16. I’m planning an afternoon tea party for the weekend, because it’s been far too long since I actually followed through on the “One day I’ll do that” thoughts. There are friends I love dearly and don’t see nearly often enough, and we don’t entertain all that often because our house is small and it takes more careful planning than I usually have energy for, but this weekend I’m making scones, and cupcakes, and finger sandwiches, and dammit! I’m doing this.

  17. Sick days, accomplishing nothing. Last night I ventured out, was social, and helped an acquaintance get a job because we have a lovely community that shows up for each other.

    Now I feel like I have a fever, what the heck.

    So…taking it easy AGAIN but also getting the house ready for a friendsgiving? While my room is all over the house because of a mold issue that’s been treated but also there’s still a giant hole where my bed should be.

  18. A few weeks ago I made an outline for a cookbook I want to put together, and this Monday I bought measuring cups and spoons (no idea where my old set went – I move a lot) so I could start writing up recipes using actual measurements instead of my usual “I dunno, some? Until it tastes good?” approach to cooking. I’m hoping to have a finished draft by Christmas so I can show my sisters when we’re all together and they can tell me if it’s something people would even want, or if I’m totally off base.

    I’m still working on my friend’s baby blanket, but it’s slow going and won’t be ready by the time I visit her in Belgium in another two weeks. I’m assuming that she will visit her parents once she’s had the baby though, so I can hopefully give it to her then.


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