Working Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Well, my favorite month just flew by, and I didn’t get much done, but I have revised the Anna Part One post more than thirty times, so I did have a surge of activity there at the end. It’s 6,500 words. Part Two is 5500 words. Part Three isn’t finished, but it’s 3500 words so far. Plus Bob and I did the next HWSWA talking about Anna (his new book is next week) so I did a lot of thinking about the story for Saturday. I have been working.

What did you work on this week?

46 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  1. Well….My baby publishing company Sonder & Spark put out our first book! At least on kindle. Apple books is thwarting us and the other platforms are coming. Which is why I’m up at 3:00 a.m. and seeing this post on what my brain thinks is Tuesday.

    I think starting Anna definitely counts as a productive month. 1) We productivity grade on a curve in 2020 and 2) Think how productive September will feel when you finish Anna and realize September 2020 was the month when it all started! Or when you finish a different project that you get an idea for because you were working on Anna! It’s all in the framing. At least it is at 3 a.m.

    But yeah! “Don’t Date the Movie Star” by Eva Caper is up on kindle for anyone who likes showbiz romantic comedies with snarky friends and fairytale themes. (She plugged super subtly).

  2. I taught a face-to-face class for the first time since March this week. I have very mixed feelings about that. I live in the UK and Covid numbers at Universities are looking grim. My only other accomplishment this week was voting in the US election, but to me that’s a biggie, so I’ll take that.

    1. Thanks for the reminder, Kelly. My dual citizen husband is registered to vote in the U.S. election for the first time. Woot!

      And of course, thank you for teaching!

      I’m covering acute and chronic inpatient this week, and it’s steady but not terrible because I’m still in a low-COVID area.

      Minor edits to my latest novel, an Egyptian Hope Sze mystery named Scorpion Scheme. WHAT A RELIEF to reclaim the mental real estate. I finished a short story and might write another one or two before saddling up for the next novel.

      I was longlisted for the Staunch Prize, a prize for thrillers that don’t feature violence against women ( Now there’s a prize to believe in.

      Just finished week 4’s second run in a Couch to 5K. Every other run is tough for me, so I go sloooowly. I’m finishing an online course on the Foundation of Acting. I was selected for my first (international) Bookbub and will stack it with Fussy Librarian, Bargain Booksy, and an audiobook sale. Kids are doing online school. Can’t complain!

      1. He can cast his first vote in arguably the most important US election of modern times! Congratulations on the nomination, Melissa. Wow, you are keeping busy. So nice to read such an optimistic post.

  3. Running has been a slog lately so I went for a walk and picked up trash (I wore gloves!) Husband has been kindly running our robot vacuum every night so I promised him a I’d mop the dining room and kitchen today.
    Other than that? I got nothing.

  4. I think there was a little surge of energy there for the end of September. I got all the houseplants that had been living on the back deck brought in and repotted (so that I don’t bring in any insect families that might have been making their homes in the pots). All that is left is to get them sorted on the ledge in the living room. It’s about 11 feet up – high enough that the cats can’t get into the plants, but also too high for me to do by myself. DH will get his ladder in and put them up some time this week. After that, watering will be a two person job!

    I also watched a free motion quilting class on line, and practiced some moves on a couple of potholders I had started back in May. I’ve got four more potholders to quilt, and a couple of more classes to watch.

    The thing that keeps calling me back is the mosaic crochet project I started a couple of weeks ago. I’m making progress, and the thrill of seeing it come together makes me want to ditch work-work and just crochet the whole day.

    I haven’t done that yet, but it’s sorely tempting! I guess I should get back to the salt mines.

  5. I’m in the last week of my holiday, which I’ve managed to keep going and to keep enjoying (I journalled myself out of the occasional impulse to cut it short or to improve it by going away). Must start chasing work – it’d be good to start earning again next week. Meanwhile I’m going to immerse myself in garden design so I can order plants to fill gaps and finish laying out my allotment plot in the next few months. Plus make a few earrings and have a last holiday photography exploration.

    1. Lovely looking concoction @Surething: all those delicious spices and the chick peas. Will try that tomorrow.

    1. Since controlling anxiety makes anything else possible, I consider that the most productive piece of all.

    2. Sending commiseration your way, Diane. I had a massive anxiety flare-up last week, and am still trying to get a handle on it…it’s taking up pretty much all my time & energy too. Anxiety sucks. Hope you find whatever you need to ease yours, and that things start to improve soon.

  6. Repotting deck plants is a biggie! I can’t manage the lifting of pots and shifting of bags of soil and just plain sustained activity required any more (old body, y’know). My son saw my dilemma and plunged in with gusto; he spread a large tarp, lifted hanging plants from high hooks to within my static reach, shifted soil and a bucket of water nearby, ruthlessly lopped off top growth (I maunder & mourn at that necessary goodbye). I denuded plant bodies from dubious dirt, trimmed roots, tucked plants into cleaned pots, and my factotum bedded them in lovely new soil and smiled as he did it. Horticulture is not his dish of tea, so it was a wonderful, fun, surprise boon. The looming rain sputtered warning drops just as we finished, and swift heart rabbit scooped up all the mess in the tarp, wrapped and tucked it away lickity split, and shazam! The pot parade proceeded to the bay window.
    “I must cut down on the plants next year,” declared the weary ancient-of-days.
    “You say that every year, mom, but they make you happy,” replied the satisfied son.
    “Thanks. I know you don’t enjoy doing this,” probed the controlling parent, channeling Eeyore.
    “Actually, I found out I like sifting my hands through dirt and seeing it all get done. And there will be another jewel in my crown in heaven,” grinned the non-guilt-ridden son, as he (apparently simultaneously) washed his hands, scrambled eggs with barbere baba ganoush, plated the eggs with naan, and took off in a blur to join scheduled tele games.
    The work of decades saturated this spontaneous episode, I see as I recount it.

    1. Everything about this post made me happy. I find, when pruning or deadheading etc, a Wiccan blessing of “Little plant of __🌹🌸🌺🏵️__, grow stronger by my touch” helps to ease my dismay.

    2. I went over the solar energy loading in the mancave this summer – some of you may recall when I put the Last Remaining Plant Life behind the closed blinds and curtains. The good part? I managed to cool the cave to the mid to low 70s F, around 25 C. The bad part? I killed that last plant. Its carcass is still on the window sill, awaiting recycling.

      I’m going to get another one (or several) just like it, and try to keep them aliver. More alive? Not dead, I mean.

  7. So, you wrote about 15,000 words in a little over a week, managed two blogs, reorganized your kitchen, and turned another year older. And that’s a slow month for you. Very glad we’re not grading on a curve here;)

    1. I started to reorganize the kitchen. It is very disorganized. And managing HWSWA means talking with Bob for an hour and then transferring the chat to a post there. Comments are minimal, so not much managing. Argh is a pleasure to manage, you’re all so beautifully behaved, so it doesn’t really count.

      I’m impressed with 15,000 words, though. I’m afraid to stop writing for fear the Girls will get annoyed and start drinking and playing cards again, so that’s mostly desperation.

  8. I am working at work, but having a hard time doing tasks at home generally. I did have a few potentially grisly things last weekend which I successfully accomplished, so ahead on points.

    Tried reading new things and failed, which I will also probably fail to comment about tomorrow.

  9. I did accomplish one thing. One of my gutters needed cleaning and I didn’t want to get up on a ladder (must live to vote). But, I read my horoscope the other day and it said something about being kind to your house. Which, surprise, was enough to get me motivated. Anyway, it went well. I was able to easily stabilize the step ladder (only one story) and found that it was just the part over the downspout that was blocked. I didn’t need to move the ladder along the entire gutter. All fixed and I can go back to my low-risk behavior.

    I shouldn’t need that ladder for awhile. Unless one of the smoke alarm batteries goes. Last time that happened it was the middle of the afternoon and not the small hours of the morning. (Which I am taking as a sign of the Apocalypse.)

    1. I LOVE “must live to vote”! I had planned to vote by mail but about a month ago I decided to vote in person. It is very motivating to evaluate risk in terms of “but could it affect my ability to get to the polls”?

    2. I think that’s going to be my motto for the next few weeks: Must live to vote! No taking chances between now and October 20th when I plan to vote early (either dropping off the mail-ballot if I get it by then or else in person).

      Although, I’m still tempted to hibernate, with a break on October 20th to vote (sort of like a late-night pee trip) and then sleep again until after the new year.

    3. Despite being on a (very) low income, I still hire a local lad to clean my gutters and put the heavy garden stuff away. My mother would never have done that. But I get such pleasure from it, that I refuse to feel guilty.

    4. FWIW, I put “changing smoke alarm batteries” scheduled in with the change to/from Daylight Savings. That way it always falls on a weekend.

  10. I was on vacation last week, so no work required. I think I went kayaking last Wednesday which was both fun and work. It was nice to be out on the water.

    Before I left on vacation, I accomplished a few things that had been hanging over my head. First, I dealt with a stupid IRS thing that I could have avoided entirely with a phone call last September. Then I uncluttered and roomba’d the living room. And to finish it all off, I put the kitchen and bathroom in good enough shape that they were a pleasure to come home to. Or at least didn’t make me cry when I got home…

    This week it is back to work and back to the beginning of quarterly deadlines.

    1. I forgot the most important thing I did before my vacation! I voted early in person. I live about half a block from the central polling place, so it was super easy to get to. They were set up very well–the whole experience, including a bit of waiting in line, took about 15 minutes max.

      1. Your elections are peculiar. The fact you can vote this far in advance of polling day. (And my cousin in San Francisco has a polling station in his garage!! In the UK polling stations are in public buildings like schools or, in my case, the local cricket pavilion, and they’re usually manned by local council officers.)

  11. Realized that I need to start strengthening a few pieces of my life now, before winter arrives and makes everything harder. Maybe especially the exercise piece, which has been…challenging, in this world of choking smoke, covid restrictions, family emergencies, and so forth.

    This realization followed on the heels of a totally overwhelming anxiety attack. So among a million other things to try to shore up my resiliency & health (doctors! meds! therapy! walking! calling friends!), I joined an online yoga class last night, and managed to make my own special contribution when, about fifteen minutes in, I bellowed, “WHY do computers have to make everything so FUCKING difficult!!” and then realized I had forgotten to mute myself.

  12. I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything in the past week. In the taking-steps-toward-accomplishing-something area yes. Not in the Got That Done area.

    Day job has been stressful. Coping mechanisms are being deployed. It’s as hot as Satan’s taint in south L.A. At 3:00 I am turning on the AC. Then I will dodge in and out of the work inbox, which is miraculously not on fire today, while taking a couple more steps to accomplish something.

  13. I mowed the lawn and glared at a patch of garden that was nothing but weeds and then pulled them all up. Seeing as I’ve been glaring at them for months without doing anything, I’m counting that as a win.

  14. We took 2 loads to the land fill, and I am declaring the parents’ garage project DONE.
    Then we went and got a lobster roll and a drink, and sat under a tent when a flurry of rain came on by.
    Now we are kind of zombie-like, spaced out and online.

  15. We planted a disease resistant elm tree. We chose our tree at the nursery last week and spent days preparing the site and acquiring compost and stuff. Preparing the site included digging a boulder out of the ground — I’ve scrubbed it and it’s actually really pretty (we have more stones than dirt here, so it’s good to like them).

    My daughter allowed me into her apartment (she lives 2 hours away — hasn’t let me in the door since March) and then let me clean up her recycling and trash. She lives with chronic pain and can’t easily lift, pick up, or carry things. Also, in addition to living a fairly isolated life anyway, she has become much more isolated in COVID times. So, the result of my picking up and throwing things out was to give her much more space in her apartment. She cheered up immensely and started talking about inviting people over. I’m thrilled.

    Then, a friend through a friend is a Federal Appeals Court judge who is in her 80s. The judge was a WWII refugee from Latvia who made her way through law school at the same time as RBG. Now she appears in court online, but she has received death threats and both she and her husband are at high risk for COVID. Our mutual friend takes care packages to the judge and this week asked me to make Parmesan Chicken to add to the box. I was incredibly pleased to be asked — and the judge wrote me a thank you as if I were a special person. I just ride on wonderful people’s coattails.

    Finally, today the surgeon cleared me for anything I want to do now that I’ve lived beyond my knee replacement. While I still have to fix my gorilla walk, I’m glad to have an end to surgery summer.

    1. How wonderful! I read years ago that there were some elms resistant to the elm blight, but had no idea it was possible to be able to plant a new elm. You’ve made my day!

  16. We’re in yet another heatwave. Got up at six and did some front yard cleanup. Everything must be done by ten. Hope this is the last one, I mean come on, it’s October tomorrow.

    Then my new bed arrived. I used some money from the small inheritance from my mother’s estate (seven siblings so not huge but very welcome) had intended to take a fabulous trip but we all know how that is these days.

    So, I thanked Mum for the bed. It’s a tempurpedic cool top with an adjustable base and has a wonderful massage feature. Also a zero gravity position that apparently eases sore backs by reducing pressure. I fell asleep while trying it out at noon. Ha ha

    1. Besides, wait until the grandchildren visit! My mother’s great-great niece, age three, LOVED Mother’s adjustable bed with the massage feature, and the lift-assist chair. She kept saying “Star Trek”!

  17. Mow the lawn, took down the umbrella, brought cushions in, will take to shop for winter storage, painted second coat on playhouse of many colours, house chores, work, and getting old medical records. And finally finished whacking the blackberry bushes and debris away for the building. A new fence went up on Friday. Looks terrific and clean and tidy. Now to find something to kill the blackberry bushes from growing back. At the hospital today, apparently I may not have had a mild heart attack. I may be one of the 20% (I think that is what the Dr said) who have a little blip in the heart which would mean it is normal. Really!?!? Getting more tests.

  18. This week has been about a year long, and I didn’t accomplish much. The bestie came over on Sunday to help me finish clearing out the garden for the year. Since I apparently gave myself tennis elbow/tendonitis doing the first half, this mostly consisted of me telling her what to do and her doing it. But I should get some credit for supervising and for having such a great friend. And I did cut back the asparagus plants with the good arm, so there’s that.

    Finished off the final revisions to the first draft (minor, thank the gods) of the second cozy on Monday, and sent it off to my editor. Who then told me she was so backed up she wouldn’t be able to look at it until November. Sigh. At least it is off my desk and on to hers. Now I just need to come up with an idea for book three… Dear gods.

    Most of the week has been focused on my sick 15 year old cat, Angus. The test results came back on Monday that told us that whatever was going on, it wasn’t the one treatable issue that was a possibility. So the last two days were mostly about bringing him home from the animal hospital and keeping him comfortable while we said our goodbyes. I took today off and other than making up a batch of applesauce from my golden delicious apples, mostly was spent snuggling and telling him what a good boy he was until it was time to take him back in the late afternoon. I was glad that other things had been cleared off my plate so for a change, I actually didn’t have to work, and could just be there. It was a surprisingly good day for a bad day.

    1. Thank you for taking such good of Angus. I know it’s heart-rending.

      You’re a very resilient woman to continue to revise, supervise your bestie, and make applesauce. <3

  19. Got rid of more stuff, and did a major clean-up of the driveway (which we don’t use a a driveway, but as seating areas, barbeque and smoker stations, etc.). Also got stuff organized for our big trash pick-up on the 10th, and did some weeding, pruning, and rose dead-heading. It’s a pleasure to go out into the yard again!

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