Working Wednesday, May, 11, 2021

So I have a new project. This is really to distract me from meddling in Bob’s Shane book because I have Ideas that he doesn’t need (although he’s polite about it). I have a WiP that I’m determined to finish some day; it’s called You Again and it’s my Golden-Age-people-trapped-in-a-snowstorm-and-somebody-dies book. SMP turned it down (because it was a mess) and Bob once tried to save it–I remember getting e-mails as he read through it that said, “Okay, this has problems, but we can fix it,” to “This is going to take a lot of rewriting,” to “What the hell did you do to this?” so it’s not an easy fix. But then Atlas Obscuraa is offering a class starting tonight on how to write a murder mystery party (not a book) and I thought, “What if the people trapped in You Again were at a murder mystery party and the fake corpse turned up really dead?” So I signed up for the course. It’s five weeks, so maybe in five weeks I’ll have enough of a grasp on the plot and done enough of rewriting that You Again will be alive again. At least I’ll stop harassing Bob about Shane. Oh, and I cleaned up more soot and threw out half my kitchen. I’m going to be cleaning soot until fall, at least.

What did you do this week?

80 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May, 11, 2021

  1. My co-worker blithely announced last Wednesday that his wife was due in mid May. So, I thought a lot about that, rummaging through my stuff. I found a blanket I can give if I weave in the ends, and I came up with a baby quilt idea with some things I had in my stash and using my cat applique technique I learned a couple of weeks ago. Pieced it Saturday, quilted on Sunday, put the binding and applique on Monday. et voila – a quilt.

    Also in that bunch I have a picture of my front garden post pruning. The azaleas have finally all been butchered, and I cut the camellias back quite a lot too. I put up the two trellises along the side, because the passion flower fine is about to explode. It will eventually drape itself all over everything in the garden, but if I can get it to latch on to the trellis, that’s better. I also found a bird nest in my pruning – it is in the left most camellia bush. Nothing in it, but they may use it again. This is right outside my dining room window, where I’ve been working from home and observing the comings and goings in my neighborhood.

    On Sunday, I was part of an octet for two services. It was fun to do that, and I made use of the long break between services to finish up my dancing dolphin applique. It will be the center of another quilt. My quilting group is doing a round robin, so I won’t see it again until the others have put additional borders around it. I’ll post the picture in the next comment, to avoid the moderation list.

    1. This is frustrating. For several weeks now Instagram has wanted me to sign in to my non-existent account instead of just showing me the pictures. I wonder what changed?

      1. Hmm, that’s unfortunate. I’ve been sending my Dad links to pictures of his great grandkids, since I can’t download and send those pictures (and they are not my photos). If there is a way around that, I’d love to know.

        1. It’s not just your links. It’s everybody’s. It must be something Instagram is doing, but of course I don’t know what.

        2. I should explain – my nephew and his wife post the pictures on IG, and I copy that link to send to Dad. IG doesn’t let me download those pictures.

      2. I think Instagram just wants everyone to have an account and shuts out those of us who won’t get one. I’ve had that problem forever. Maybe there’s some setting with some particular people because that doesn’t always happen for me, though.

      3. Don’t know if it’ll help:
        on my phone, sign in required
        laptop just clicks through
        both run firefox, though now I think the laptop’s version has been bugging me to update for ages. hope that’s not why

    2. Nancy, this quilt is so absolutely lovely. Love the colours, love the cat – kudos to the quilter!!

    3. So cute. For some reason it makes me think of I Dream of Jeannie?!? Amazing how much you get done.

  2. I have been writing “something” every day for the last three days. Considering it’s been over a year since I’ve been able to do that due to, you know, LIFE, I’m really happy.

  3. I am *this* close to finishing another of my aunt’s blankets. Going up north for a visit, and planning to take a “batch”, which is unfortunately limited to this blanket and one scarf I’m effectively just tying the ends off on. I’ll bring a small third that’s incomplete, and I should be able to finish it up there.

    That leaves me with 7 projects, and one of mine I’ll be giving to them. One is new to me (tunisian), 3 are big, and one is piecing little bits together. Kind of feels like I’ll never be done, although this is the third batch I’ve been able to send up. 🙂

    My goal is to be done with them all by next Christmas. This year definitely won’t happen with how slow I crochet. Maybe we can say by next June? That sounds more positive!

    I was also able to scan the last of my gma’s pictures that had cardboard frames. Can’t get the quality to match, but I dont think we can at this point without taking them out of the frames, which would involve some destruction. Is what it is at this point. 🤷‍♀️ So those will go up north as well, and at a huge relief! We had a fire scare a few months ago and I didn’t grab the pictures and have been worried ever since!

  4. Mostly I’m working on trying to find my motivation.
    I seem to have misplaced it.

      1. And that of an artist friend of mine, who is making gorgeous jewelry but is unable to paint, her main art form. I’ll tell her where to look for it.

      2. Sounds about right…on a complete bender now, and when it finally turns up, it’s likely to be totally hungover and useless

      3. At least your motivation got up the energy to go bar hopping, mine crawled on the couch and curled up and can’t summon up the energy to change the channel on the remote control

      4. Oh that’s kind of comforting. Not dead, just out drinking with friends. Hope mine is hang out there too.

        1. the couch thing’s a little more worrying. The sleazy metaphysical bar could have hints of Spider Robinson’s The Drunkards Song
 (lots of swearing)
          during which the drinking was definitely temporary since they were “drinkin’ up a windfall”. You know, and not drinking alone, that’s better, right?

          And most of his writing runs to hopeful, mostly ordinary(ish) getting what they need. love his work but as my brother once complained “all his characters sound like they’re stoned” I don’t assume it will appeal to all. Didn’t see the stoned thing myself but then I haven’t read any for years and I was terribly naive.

  5. My own motivation is not in a bar, it’s lying down somewhere staring out the window. The baby I’m making an afghan for is almost a year old and I’m not half finished. Now that arthritis is getting into my hands I must stop saying I’m going to make afghans for children not yet born that apparently are going to get to them in time for kindergarten.

    1. On the plus side, kindergarten age is JUST the age to curl up in an afghan fort and fully appreciate it. Also much lower probability of frequent laundering requirements.

    2. When my friend got pregnant with her first child, I started making a big embroidered picture from Beatrix Potter for her. I got pretty far, then life got in the way. Pulled it out again when she got pregnant with her second. And so on. Finally, when the fifth kid was on its way I put the pedal to the floor and finished it. Good thing, because she didn’t have more after that.

      1. That’s terrific. Usually the first kid will have an avalanche of Stuff and a dozen photo albums, and by #5, he or she is lucky to have a few hand-me-downs and to be included in family pictures. This one rated your big project!

    3. sympathy. I’m mid way through a freaking Pair of Slippers that I started just after Christmas. Sigh. Austraila so I’ve another few months of cold before I’ll feel really silly handing them over.

      I somehow missed making a baby blanket for a boy now 6-7 even though I did for both his cousins. Turns out that old, you can ask what they’d like, colors and edging in my case. He picked colors… well, I had doubts. Then finished thing looks amazing and like nothing else I’ve made. And he loves it. Maybe kindergarten is when to Start a blanket. Though baby ones can be smaller. 🙂

  6. Thought I would be starting the new job next Monday, but probably now will start first week of June. So I have two guilt-free weeks in the Spring to play, or paint, or take a little trip. Or clean out the layers of stuff and fabric and paper and books that is the studio, shared by three people who don’t pick up or put away. That will probably be in there somewhere.

  7. My work this week was apparently watching authors starting, finishing or working on entertaining me. Jenny, for you it’s You Again. For Lois, it’s The Assassins of Thasalon, which I just bought from Amazon and will be reading shortly. For Ryk Spoor, it’s a WIP that include the characters from Princess Holy Aura. There are others.

    1. I know I can always count on you, Gary, to alert me when Bujold comes out with a new book. Thank you! Also wasn’t it you who informed us of the Nathan Lowell, Trader series (Ishmael Horatio Wong)? I’m luxuriating in it for the second time, after rereading the Wizard’s Butler (which, sadly, doesn’t wear as well).

  8. Major projects for day job are on the finish sprint: boss and colleague doing the final touches on a major report today, me organising this virtual conference due next week.
    Have to figure out how to do the Lime survey evaluation thingy on Friday so that the workshops I’d organized can be evaluated at the beginning of next week. I hate that there’s no manual or whatever to guide me through the fine details of such stuff that I only need so seldomly that I always forget how it’s done.
    Nothing creative done except finally finished the calender with kids fotos (yes, only 5 months late…) for my parents and the in-laws. Next time around I make my daughter help, she’s so much more computer-savy at 13 thank I am…

    And I’m soooo looking forward to You Again. I’m certain the course will help and allow you to finish the manuscript in no time 🙂

      1. Hilarious, Dodo! I teach online and have been for six years. This skit covers all the bases.

  9. This is just a heads up to everyone that this Saturday, May 15, is National Chocolate Chip day in the U.S. You’ve got a few days to work out your best way to celebrate.

  10. I am trying not to kill people.

    (I have backhoes; they are currently digging a trench; I have alibis lined up; I am only partly kidding.)

      1. Now you tell me.


        Well, it wasn’t bad until the GC hired a sociopath that he thinks is great (because, hey, sociopath, she’s good at the bs), and I’m the one having to deal with her.

        otoh, my ability to think about murders and all the things I would need to accomplish one (like alibis) just may have kicked back in my storytelling skills.

  11. You Again. I do remember some of it, and would enjoy the read. Good luck.


    I feel like I have about half of it down, but not the hardest number. Uck.

  13. My life just got a bit more fraught. My colleague is having a baby, today. His wife wasn’t due for two more weeks but apparently they saw something in the bloodwork that led them to want to induce today. So I suddenly have to cover his lessons and classes.

    We knew it was a possibility, but if it had happened on schedule we would have had a better plan ready.

  14. I have been working on a memoir I’d abandoned; realized on a closer look that I’d completely ignored my seven years of teaching, and that there are lots of stories there. Also prepping poems for submission and taking back poems that were accepted in Nov., but despite promises, not yet published by a journal that’s not gotten an issue out since 2019. Finished some freelance work, trekked to a major greenhouse more than an hour away and bought flowers and green zebra tomato plants. Ignored housework.

  15. Yesterday I went to the garden supply store because the last time I was there I forgot potting soil. And of course couldn’t go by the plants without adding a few more. One was a Mexican tarragon herb. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything with tarragon in it, but this morning I saw a recipe for scallops in brown butter sauce with tarragon and capers on the net and printed it out. Only five ingredients what could go wrong?

    Now for my pet peeve of the day. Why is it when reading a story a deep conversation starts and then an interruption occurs and someone says, “we’ll get back to this” and doesn’t until a few chapters later when I no longer care? Just a gripe, I’ll get over myself after a nap.

  16. At the moment, Day Job is stalled due to our document management system crashing, so I’m … not working. 🙂 Group meeting in an hour regardless but my inbox is somnolent and I did all the nagging yesterday, so must simply wait for attorneys to do their part of things.

    On the writing front, I’ve prepped the latest novella and set it up for pre-order. This is one that was substantially complete in early 2020 (and intended to launch a year ago) but which had to be parked in a siding till 2020 finished happening. Now revised, expanded, polished, covered, and ready to go.

    Also set up a couple of promotions and have done a few thousand words on a historical thing which is going a very different direction than I imagined when I first conceived it years ago. It’s very fun to write but I am letting it percolate for 5-6 days and then opening the document, vs fiddling daily.

  17. I think I’m coming out of my pandemic languish/ennuie, and I’m not actually doing a lot of work, but at least I’m THINKING about work in positive ways, and wanting to do it, so that’s a start!

    Mostly I’ve just puttered in the yard (my container garden on the deck for salad stuff is doing fabulously), replaced my phone (ugh), and started getting stuff ready to self-publish a trilogy of post-apocalyptic cozies in the fall. Next up is getting the cover art for the trilogy, which I hope to have started by next Wed.

  18. I finally finished the irritating edit yesterday. I’m feeling tired and pathetic; I think it’s because my body’s responding to the second vaccination – I had a similar delayed reaction to the first one. It’s frustrating: I’ve got a million and one things to do, many of which I actually want to do. Hope I’ll perk up soon.

  19. Lots of gardening and usual stuff. Gdaughters told me about a chocolate mint plant and I must get one for the garden. I did.

  20. I needed more space in my under-the-bed boxes; I asked someone I know if she needed another afghan. She said yes, so I pulled out 63 squares and started sewing. It’s been years since I sewed together granny (or Jenny) squares, and I had forgotten how tedious it is. On the other hand, the squares I took out allowed me to consolidate enough to free up an entire under-the-bed box, so the primary mission is accomplished.

    Now I just have to glue family pictures to posterboard for my M-I-L’s belated mother’s day “card”. A counter irritant, which might make sewing squares together look good.

  21. We were going to go plant shopping today but discovered that the closest and smallest greenhouse (thus the one we want to support the most) is closed until tomorrow so we turned the truck around and came home. We are going to put out the grill and the smoker and do a few more quick outside jobs before it rains then we are going to have a nap. Paul really needs some downtime and has a few extra days off so we decided to postpone some of our bigger projects in favour of daily naps.

    Okay, so we did all the chores for today, had a nap, and now I’m 1 hour into Insidious Chapter 3 and have supper in the oven. A good day.

  22. They are powers washing, then painting, the outside of my condo building… So I had to move all patio furniture into my condo. For three weeks. Excellent excuse to avoid housework in my living room! Should have put some furniture in my kitchen.

  23. I hit a block at work again today. I get so overwhelmed and anxious that I just can’t function and literally stare at my computer screen for a bit. I jog myself out of it eventually, usually after 5 trips to the kitchen for food I absolutely don’t need or even want, then finally do *something* out of *anything* on the things that overwhelmed me and get marginally past it.

    It felt like a good portion if my day was this, and I felt and feel like a terrible employee. I feel like I go-go-go until I can’t, and then hard stop. There are breaks and such in there, but man. It just sucks, and I feel awful about all of it. UGH.

    I’m going to go crochet because I must. And I’m listening to an audiobook, so there’s that!

    1. I haven’t got an answer, but this sounds like me. One thing I’ve tried is to limit what I do, which always feels the opposite of what I should be doing, but has been known to give me more energy, so I get more done in the time I do have. So force yourself to take ten minutes of every hour as a break; or – better, if possible – cut down on the hours you work in a day. And/or perhaps just give yourself one or two things to do in a day: decide on these at the end of your workday for the following day. And encourage yourself (try to be a kind boss to yourself).

      I continually fall back into this kind of trap; so I daresay you’ve already tried this kind of thing. I just find I have to keep trying it again. Though my four-hour workday has definitely helped (have to keep stopping myself from pushing to do longer, even so).

    2. There are days of Day Job when I don’t have an avalanche of incoming new demands. On those days I allow myself to loaf, because eventually another avalanche will come. In-between times tend to get taken up with deleting irrelevant old emails from various folders, re-naming documents in the electronic files, and other housekeeping.

      go-go-go is sometimes unavoidable, but sometimes you have to STOP. 🙂

  24. Have you by chance watched Knives Out? I feel like it might be helpful. Also, lots of fun.

  25. I finished planting all my annuals except for a four foot stretch of garden that needs zinnia seeds. This dangerously inspired me and I ordered most of the spring bulbs I need to plant this fall. Which may feel overwhelming when they arrive as apparently some of the tulips come in bags of 10’s and others in bags of 50 but are priced the same so I didn’t notice.

    This is also dangerous because I’m perfectly capable of forgetting what I ordered and ordering more.

    1. Might not help for bulbs but I have shopping list and a do not buy list. Occasionally something goes on sale more often than we use it, or, more embarrassingly, I make a mental note to buy something and don’t get around to erasing said mental note til they start overrunning their cabinet space. One or two jars of anchovies in case of sudden puttanesca but using 10 will take more than a year. I don’t even know how long 3-4 large boxes of laundry powder will take but I know I don’t need more no matter how good the sale. Turns out now that now I have a do not buy list it is really useful to remind myself when we have something I usually buy every time, like when someone gives us a couple dz eggs or mysterious quantities of almonds didn’t disappear the way they usually do.

  26. Came here to find out if there’s a new Cruisie. I guess the answer is not yet? I love golden age, but it makes sense to do a contemporary twist, like a murder mystery weekend at a VRBO on an island or whatever. The characters and dialogue were the important parts of the golden age mysteries, and Cruisie has that covered.

  27. Apparently I’m stalling. This may be a record number of reply-to-comment for me. And even at that I suppressed 3 or 4 that were just babble.
    Let see, there’s the 4-5 dinners of pans +kitchen to clean and my ever hopeful packing project. And vacuuming since walking on the gritty floor is one reason I don’t want to clean And dinner. Oh and maybe buy something for dinner since shopping arrives tomorrow. Laundry in the machine and on the line. Telephone call about old old credit card mix up. Lunch would probably help. And the daily/weekly list I’ve been neglecting and the we’re moving in a month list.
    Actually stalling seems perfectly reasonable. Not helpful but reasonable. I know it’s bad when I’m stalling with awareness to the point where I won’t get off my comfy chair even though I’m hungry.
    Right. Into the Fray. Wish me luck.

    I wish good luck and strength to everyone struggling. to everyone.

  28. I have mostly been working on unpacking boxes. And to be honest I haven’t been working too hard at that. Mostly I’m just luxuriating in the silence and solitude. And, of course, getting run off my feet at my actual work. Nice to be busy again after last year’s stand downs though.

  29. Got in at 2 AM from driving daughter home (to NJ) from Indiana University for summer break. YAY! Doing edits on my September release. And need to plot my Christmas book. Never wrote a Christmas book so I’m nervous.

    1. The only Christmas book I ever wrote (novella), I was so annoyed at having to write about Christmas that I made my protagonist annoyed, too, especially because she kept hearing “Santa Baby” everywhere she went. It was an anti-Christmas novella.

  30. I’m just cranky. And I really shouldn’t be. the job is good. I put clips under my windows to hang flower pots on, and it looks kind of cute. I’ve been working on 9 mini paint-by-numbers of birds to hang on my wall at work. (That’s really annoying because the picture of the finished product on the website is far more detailed than the actual finished product. I spend a lot of time squinting at the illustrations that hooked me and trying to replicate them.)

    I haven’t written in a blankity blank blank year. Maybe I never will again. My motivation isn’t just at the pub, it’s moved in and sleeps under the bar. It greets all your motivations as they come in and sets the drinks on the bar before going face down in something sweet and highly alcoholic. and Here I go into moderation…

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