We Were Too Stressed to Talk About Fiction This Week

Edited to Add:

With any luck, Biden will get Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia which will put him over 300 votes for a solid Electoral College win, giving him both the popular vote by over four million and the EC. Thank god.


There is no HWSWA this week because Bob and I are both Americans and we were screaming too loudly to talk. We did e-mail, but since we’re both liberals–Bob kinda and me uber–there was much shared horrified and appalled reaction to the voting done by people who evidently can’t see a Fascist when he’s ranting in front of them.

We plan to be back next week. Depending on next week, of course; this is America, the entire country could fall into the ocean while on fire by then. In the meantime,I’ve been cooking and kicking raccoon ass, and now I’m thinking seriously about going to bed with some hot chocolate and my electric blanket and a lot of pillows, maybe some brownies. I’ve got a freezer full of leftovers, so I won’t have to cook, and I’ve had enough reality for awhile. Maybe I’ll get out of bed in 2021, or maybe I’ll stay there and write a romance novel with a hero based on Steve Kornacki because smart and calm and decent is very appealing to me right now.

74 thoughts on “We Were Too Stressed to Talk About Fiction This Week

  1. I think coronavirus generally, and having surgery in June specifically, have prepared me for having unusual patience as we wait out the vote count. Overall, the election leaves me sad and discouraged — not about the (apparent) top of the ticket but with the Senate and state legislatures. So, there’s going to be a lot of slogging required to achieve much before 2024. My two heroes of the fray are my town clerk who volunteered her time to offer walk-in voting 2 to 4 hours a day every day from October 17th through the 30th; and, Stacy Abrams who may have worked a miracle in Georgia.

    I’m restless, having run out of books I can trust to come through for me every time I reread them — while having also lost my focus on researching and writing. But a replacement has appeared: I dug up rosemary and tarragon and bought a bunch of herb plants. This winter I’m going to have lavender scent through the house and fresh herbs in the stews. Research shows me that I’ve been growing the wrong tarragon and oregano — the real stuff is French tarragon and Origanum onites — so I need to repair those mistakes. Hrrumph. And away I go!

  2. Well, that’s another lesson learned. I thought for sure there would be a landslide victory for Biden/Harris. Now we have to be patient and wait for the count. I can do that. I’ve done it for four years. (While alternately tearing my hair out every time T speaks.) I also have this visual of The Count from Sesame Street floating through my head.

    This weekend we’re going to watch the second season of The Simple Heist a Swedish series about two older women one a doctor and the other a teacher as they attempt an art theft. Comedy/drama. The first season was so good, in that one they robbed a bank. Not that I’m advocating crime it’s just a story.

    Well, I’ve given myself enough haircuts to realize I’m no good at it. So I ordered a set of hot rollers to cover the damage. I haven’t used hot rollers in years, but it sure beats a curling iron.

    1. Ok, picturing The Count actually counting votes seriously made me smile. If that (and dancing Elmo) were just a part of our regular politics, I think the country would be a calmer place. But then again, The Count makes you tear out your hair sometimes at his speed, so maybe not. XD

    2. I finally got fed up and chopped off the back of my hair. What a mess. so I just dyed it and said who cares. It’s not like anyone sees me anyway.

      1. I’ve been cutting my own hair since well before the pandemic. The only difference is now is no one from work sees the back!

  3. I’ve been sending out a Song of the Day to my church choir and a group of friends since March. Mostly it’s just to share beauty, I choose from many types of music, including dance numbers from musicals, songs from around the world, my beloved opera and classical chorus music, rock, country, blues, jazz old and new, protest old and new.
    I was very careful about my choices this week.

    Mon. Nov. 2 – Bound by a Thread – Gaelynn Lee
    Tues. Nov. 3 – American the Beautiful – Ray Charles
    Wed. Nov. 4 – Waiting on a Sunny Day – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
    Thu. Nov. 5 – Wait for It – Hamilton
    Fri. Nov. 6 – Song of the Count – Sesame Street
    Sat. Nov. 7 – O welche Lust (O what joy) the prisoners’ chorus from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio
    I hope by tomorrow: At Last – Etta James

    These are all found on Youtube, if you’re curious. Bound by a Thread is like listening to a beautiful web being spun.

    I keep reminding myself to breathe. Also, we’re having lovely sunny days in the 60s (F), so I’m hanging out some bedding for a sunning, and stuff like that.

    1. Hal le lu jah, Hal le lu jah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hal le lu jah.

      Then I follow this with the Amen chorus from the Handel’s Messiah.

      Pretend I am singing this. Pretend I can actually carry a tune.

      1. Yes! But I think I’m going to send out Ode to Mail-In Voting, with one of those surprise events, where one person starts to play, then a second violinist, then a bass, and on through the orchestra, then the chorus!

        1. Have you watched “Vote Him Away” on YouTube (Roy Zimmerman)? I like Version #2 the best but they are all good.

      2. I promptly found a whole pack of YouTube videos of flash mobs doing the Hallelujah. I like the original best — the audience really isn’t expecting it! but it just suited my euphoric mood.

  4. Congratulations, Canadians have been watching with bated breath, glued to the news channels, as anxious as the numbers climbed. Big sigh.


        1. We were just planning on pushing snow along the border and hoping America would forget we were here…😜

  5. Sending you all rest and recup vibes. And then energy vibes to keep on doing the important work.

    1. Thank you. All politics is local. My workm will continue with the briefest of breaks. In the meantime, there is gin and apple cider.

      1. New York will have to extradite him from Florida. The only reason they would want him back is jail.

    1. No, we have two months of hell first as Trump tries to burn the country down in revenge.

      2021. Please let it be 2021 soon.

      Going back to bed until then . . .

      1. Congratulations! I’m very happy for you, and me, and the world.

        Asking as a foreigner (and assuming things remain as they are): does a lame duck President still have all the powers he had before he was lame duck? Or is he more restrained by the Courts (or something similar)? It seems a bit wild to give someone full Presidential freedom to tantrum from now until January.

        1. Same powers. Presidents are usually decent about it, but this is Trump, so he’ll do as much damage as possible because he’s a badly behaved toddler. The courts will restrain him if he tries to break the law, they’ve pretty good about that for four years, but he has a lot of power. It’s going to be the Augean Stables by the time Biden gets in.

          1. Oh. Thank you for the explanation.

            Here’s hoping he just stays on the golf course and sulks… I mean, refusing to do your job is toddleresque, right? (*fingers crossed*)

          2. At least Biden already has White House experience, so he knows how it works, because he’s not going to get any meaningful handover from Trump.

          3. He has a ton of Congressional experience, too, as does Harris. They’re not just adults (thank you, God), they’re adept politicians. Which they’re going to have to be.

      2. I think some people in my activist group are going to make Pat Toomey’s (jr senator from PA and retiring from politics) life as difficult as possible for the next 2 years.

  6. Congratulations America. I am so, so happy for you. And Kamala Harris as your first female vice president is the icing on the cake.

    1. Totally off-topic – but are you actually in Galway, Tes? It’s one of my favorite places in the world – and not just because my mother’s maiden name was Lynch. (I grew up hearing 52 Lynches were mayors of Galway about once a week until 2004 when mom passed away.)

      1. Hi Kate. My father’s family come from Connemara, so twenty years ago I moved to Galway and made it my home. If you have visited Galway, I live within walking distance of Salthill. I am totally biased, but I think Galway is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I feel very luck to live here. . Sadly, there are no Lynches in my family tree.

        Lynch is a very old Galway name. The first mayor of Galway in 1484 was Pyerse Lynch. Before lockdown, I use to walk passed Lynch’s Castle every day; it is the oldest still intact building in Galway. It dates back to either the late 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century. You can still see the Lynch’s family Coat of Arms on the front of the building. The Lynches were one of fourteen ruling tribes in Galway at that time and were said to be the most influential of the Tribes of Galway. I probably owe you rent. LOL

        1. Hey Tes, You probably won’t see this, but I love walking past Lynch castle too – I’ve done it both times I’ve been to Galway. Can I come visit you next time I make it overseas? I promise not to move in, just coffee or a drink or something.

  7. Neither Democrat, Republican, nor Libertarian here. Independent, and proud to be so. I do lean more liberal than conservative, depending on the issue.

    That said, I’ve been glued to CNN live since Tuesday, and I’m happy that Joe won. If I’d taken a sip of something alcoholic every time CNN said they wouldn’t call a state until all the votes were counted, I’d have died of alcohol poisoning. “That’s why we count the votes.”

    Trump is still President for 2.5 months. Try not to think about what he can do until January 20.

  8. I know we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but it feels like I can breathe again. We did it.

  9. Now we have to work on the Georgia senate races so Biden can actually get stuff done. If you’re interested as either a donor of things to auction or a purchaser (by way of a donation), check out Romancing the Runoff here (donation page link, but it’s got the basic info, and you can also check it out on Twitter where they’re posting dog and cat pix at various milestones, not sure if they have an actual website since it’s temporary): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScFyZO5WsdxsHvQIsR9Es8YnuNKfivrJqW-nIyfjsrdIhPVYg/viewform

    I’ve donated 4 small quilts and 3 query critiques if anyone’s interested, although the details won’t be posted until Nov. 18th.

      1. Thank you. I just donated a proposal critique, will see if Mollie has signed books left to donate.

  10. I woke up to the good news this morning. Absolutely wonderful! Brilliantly done, and the rest of the world is breathing a sigh of relief. I’m so pleased for you.

  11. I feel like I’ve had dealt with a 4 year cancer diagnosis and the tumor was removed today. Free at last…

  12. I would definitely read a romance hero based on Steve Kornacki. And I’m glad you can all breathe again. I think the whole world is letting out a sigh of relief right now, even though much of the damage can not be undone. Next year has to be better now, right?

  13. On the one hand, YAY!

    On the other hand, I’m still worried. The Electoral College doesn’t actually vote until mid-December and they are not legally required to vote the way their state did. Trump has two and a half months to burn down our country. His “people” can still protest violently — I fear particularly for African Americans and LGBTQ+ folks. I won’t breath a sign of relief until Bid has been sworn into office. Maybe I’m a pessimist, or just nervous, bu I’m not exhaling yet. It appalls me that so many people still voted for Trump. It’s scary.

    So, YAY! Mostly.

    1. There’s plenty to be concerned about in the number of people who thing four more years of Trump is what they want. However, I’ve been listening to former federal prosecutors on podcasts, and lawyers on podcasts, and the consensus is that half the states which might get some idea that their Republican state legislature might name a panel of electors who would vote contrary to the popular vote outcome for Biden/Harris have Democratic governors who would promptly name a panel of electors who would vote for Biden/Harris. And if two sets of electors show up, I think they’re both disallowed.

      Highly unlikely, Deo volente.

    2. There’s actually some case law about faithless electors, and the ability to hold electors faithful was help up by a Supreme Court ruling this past spring. (My husband’s college friend is the AG of Colorado and is one of the attorneys who represented the case for the side of good :-)). If PA wanted to allow the legislature to appoint faithless electors, they would have had to do it before the election, and even then, it wouldn’t necessarily have been doable. Or so it has been explained to me. (Fingers crossed!)

  14. I AM SO RELIEVED. And thankful. (And not just because I can turn off CNN after this speech.)

    Sanity prevailed. Barely, but I’ll take the win.

    Maybe now I’ll be able to write again.

  15. I didn’t realize how frightened I was that the current idiot would pull this election off until they announced that Biden/Harris had won and I felt this HUGE burst of relief.

    Just so happy now. Can’t stop smiling. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. I know we still have a long journey ahead of us in healing. But today has made me so happy, so hopeful. Finally, adults in the White House come January. People with knowledge, understanding, intelligence, and empathy. Listening tonight to their speeches, seeing their families, enjoying their smiles, I felt a weight lift from my chest. Now we need Stacey Abrams to work her voting magic in Georgia in January. We need those seats!

    1. We need Stacey Abrams to run for Georgia governor and then President. I am so impressed with her.

        1. Wouldn’t that be awesome — a female president who also writes romantic suspense books? How much better could it get? 🙂

  17. I am thinking that in ten years he will have diminished to being a Harlequin villain — the backstory character who causes the heroine her backstory issues.

    1. Well, he always was, surely. Just not credible – would throw you out of the story because he was such an extreme, cardboard character.

      1. I read one this week where the heroine’s absent father shows up to demand that she sign an NDA so no one knows they’re connected. It absolutely made me think of Individual 1 and his NDAs.

  18. I feel as if I should be happy, but I’m still so anxious that I want to cry. I know, I’m a big baby – we all know that here. And surely all this leftover stress will dissipate soon and I’ll feel like an adult again. Or maybe that should be feel like an adult, full stop!

    And can I have a new color, please? I don’t know what to do with being white. Maybe I can be beige or pink? I’m pretty frecked so could I be an appaloosa?

    I think on all forms that ask for gender and race I will decline to answer so as to stand in solidarity with those whose answers could cause them harm.

    don’t get me wrong. I’m hugely relieved that Biden/Harris won. It’s just that we are still so broken as a country, and it seems like I’m part of a problem that I don’t understand how to fix.

    Now I’ll go write the beauty cream blog. That I can handle.

    1. The last time I got a form that asked that question, I looked at my 23 and Me results and let them have it with both barrels. Not that my makeup is anything unusual. Now my stepcousins have a German-background mother (my mother’s stepfather’s sister) and an Italian-background father. DNA from Rome has some of everything; it was probably a crossroads before the official founding of the city.

  19. I am so incredibly happy and relieved.

    The cracks in the “pretend Trump has a chance of winning” wall are already beginning. He may never get there, but eventually the tide will sweep the rest of them along.

    The GSA funding thing is the most annoying part. Not having those offices/emails/access to the departments before the electors meet in December will slow everything down at a time when we have a crisis that needs dealing with by competent professionals.

    On the other hand, the Biden-Harris transition team knows how the government works and can get competent people in starting at noon January 20th. They can keep things running until the transition office of presidential personnel becomes the office of presidential personnel.

    1. I’ve decided to cut the GSA administrator some slack. She works for Trump. I believe that until the electoral college votes, Biden technically is not the next president. Or at the soonest, after the states have certified their votes – and most have not finished counting yet. Most other presidents as a courtesy extend the president-elect some leeway on this. But we all know the Trump is petulant not gracious.

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