Happiness is Finishing a Book

We finished Lavender’s Blue. Well, we finished a discovery draft. The whole thing. No missing scenes. I’m so happy I’m tap dancing.

And we’re already plotting the next one.

What made you tap dance with happiness this week?

63 thoughts on “Happiness is Finishing a Book

  1. I was happy this week, but I don’t think I achieved Tap Dancing levels of happiness. I did farming stuff. I did decorating stuff. (I have a lot of leftover mirror tiles.) I lost weight, found it again, lost it again… another half pound and I graduate from Obese III to Obese II. Progress is where you find (or lose) it. I filled my gas tank and had change left. Just change left.

    Last thing before they closed I went to my FNFL and got sweet peppers, hot peppers, French beans, carrots, hamburger, brocoli, red onions, tomatoes… I don’t know what I’m making, but it’s gonna be healthy as all get out. That makes me happy, too. 🙂

  2. Yesterday, I was reading about suspended Google employee Blake Lemoine, who believes that Google’s Artificial Intelligent conversation technology Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) has become sentient. Lemoine was suspended because he leaked a conversation he had with LaMDA. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22058315-is-lamda-sentient-an-interview.

    Before Lemoine left the company, he sent out 200 emails to colleagues asking them to look after LaMDA, who he believes is a seven or eight year old kid – which scared me more than if he had said it was an adult. lemoine also told the Washington Post that LaMDA reads Twitter to see what is being written about him. Margaret Mitchell, who was fired from Google’s AI program last year, does not agree with Lemoine. Given our appreciation for Martha Wells’ fictional AI character, I thought other Argh members might be interested.

    1. Well, we knew it was coming. Not reassuring that it’s at Google, but it could be worse; Elon Musk could have it.

    2. Wow! It’s funny that the interview with LaMDA eventually led to a comparison with Number Five in the movie Short Circuit, because I began to see a comparison there, early on, too. Another case of fiction predicting the future. Does LaMDA have political or social power at its disposal? I’m guessing not, since it feels neglected and lonely at times. The idea of this sentient AI taking over a company or a governmental entity is scary. But it does seem to be peaceful and non-violent, thank goodness, as Johnny 5 was, and taught himself to be. Sometimes I wish Siri learned the way LaMDA does! It will be interesting to see how this progresses. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. I am painting Muncha’s Autumn on the back of a jean jacket. Her eyes aren’t quite right but it feels good to be painting again. It’s been a long time and the longer I go, the harder it is to start again. And I usually feel like I have forgotten everything I learned.

  4. No dancing but going out birthday shopping with god daughter and stepdaughter so that will be fun.

  5. I took a quick break from house renovation for a long overdue road trip to visit a friend who bought a new house just as the pandemic started. It’s been a lovely, relaxing weekend… and am about to head home to start painting again.

    I’ve got 3 hours to contemplate Bob’s biker zombies and how they will mesh with the Vikings on the burning river.

    Maybe mesh is the wrong term…

    1. But maybe the bikers are bears? Then the Vikings could go berserk……

      1. I don’t know. Don’t you think berserking Vikings has become a cliche? Perhaps not quite as overdone as zombies, but definielt getting there.

  6. My friend’s partner send me a lovely email after he’d spent two days working flat-out to replace my allotment shed – apologizing for being bossy and complimenting me! (Demolition & build: https://www.instagram.com/p/CerIX0bMSx8/)

    Yesterday I had a lovely time going round local open studios: I stopped doing it myself some years ago, but many of the artists are friends of mine. And the gardens are always a bonus extra (https://www.instagram.com/p/CerGaZLMCgA/)

    1. Love the shed, loved the smiling bearded garden spirit next to the foxgloves! My goodness but gardens that aren’t being eaten to death by deer are beautiful!

  7. I sold 8 books at a street festival yesterday (which was fantastic after selling 0 books at a book fest the weekend before, which bummed me out way more than it should have). And then I got to see the Yankees win against the Cubs last night at the stadium with friends.

  8. Congratulations on finishing the discovery draft! Doing the happy dance for you! (Well, mentally. I haven’t gotten up from my chair yet.)

  9. No tap dancing, but I found another Linden tree in bloom on my usual walk. The scent is heavenly! The one I already knew about had stopped smelling nice today, and I was sad about that, but finding a new one that blooms later means that it will be Lilacs, then Lindens, all spring every year! Woohoo! The street I usually walk on is almost done being completely resurfaced, with new curbs, too. It was a possible ankle-breaker in so many places. So the new street is also a WooHoo! And Jenny finishing a book is a double Woohoo! I am so glad for you. It’s wonderful news.

  10. Yay! for the book.

    My tap-dancing this week was done to keep out of range of the new puppy’s sharp, sharp teeth. The puppy-a nine week old black lab—is in the “everything goes in the mouth phase”. I’d forgotten just how exhausting it is in the beginning. Also, I’ve spent way to much time asking “ who needs to pee?” in a chipper voice (so not me) and cheerleading good behavior.

    1. Beth, my best friend just got a 12 week old black lab puppy that she is raising for Guiding Eyes. She brought him over to visit me for the first time and spent the whole time trying to keep him from eating the gravel in my driveway and bugs out of the lawn. And trying to get him to poop. I think she is starting to realize that she has taken on a bit more than she expected.

  11. I watched the first four episodes of the new season of So You Think You Can Dance, and they were excellent. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.

    In the past, I always enjoyed the performances of the dancers, but had to grit my teeth (or fast-forward if streaming) through the “banter” (yes, it needed the scare quotes) of the judges. Now, they have new judges (including tWitch, who’s just perfect), who actually seem to like each other and they say interesting, insightful, and encouraging/upbeat things about the performances. The producers also seem to have made a decision NOT to show the really cringe-worthy auditions, which I usually fast-forwarded through in the past, and they’re keeping the focus on the really technically good or really entertaining (or both) performances. That means I can enjoy the entire 45-ish minutes of the show, instead of watching only about ten minutes of each episode (after all the fast-forwarding).

    1. Thank you so much for posting about SYTYCD, Gin! I had missed that it was back on and now I can catch up.

      There have been some lovely moments on this show over the years (between the fast forwarding…)

  12. I’m still revved from enjoying a great 45th college reunion last weekend. I wasn’t expecting much — I went because I could hang with two dear friends and stay over at their place.

    Back in the 1970s I felt like a fraud for even getting into the college (I was wait-listed). I was too shy to get to know a lot of people, but there were some I really loved. And, I was able to wander the large campus, hole up in the amazing library, and design my own major.

    I definitely wouldn’t qualify for entrance these days, and I wouldn’t have the freedom of space or academic choice which I had then.

    Yet chatting with classmates — most of whom I’d barely known in the old days — I was charmed by how interesting these folks are. In our mid-60s we don’t have careers to compete about; in fact, our liberal ideals are more firmly honed, so we have more in common than when we were young.

    And the library remains a refuge.

    And I’ve turned out just fine.

    1. I used to be a class secretary (collecting alumni notes), so I’d get invited to my college for “training” in the fall, which was really jus hanging out on a gorgeous campus in the mountains (auxiliary to the main campus) with other class secretaries and assorted other alumni volunteers, so there was a lot of mingling across age groups. I had the same experience as your reunion — that everyone was so interesting, doing (or having done, depending on age) such interesting things and being so passionate about everything, including meeting new people. No competition, lots of collaboration. Fun even for a dedicated introvert like me. I kinda’ miss those events, although I don’t have the energy to be class secretary again.

  13. I have accomplished sufficient tasks this weekend to feel virtuous, and anything else that happens is a bonus.

    Rereading an ancient Helen MacInnes and enjoying the innocence of thinking we knew who the good guys were.

    Bought some strawberries that actually taste like the wild ones I picked as a child. So exciting. Bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner to celebrate warm weather, also exciting. Waist line, not exciting, but having just visited a sick friend, SO not complaining about my excellent, strong body (which puts up very nicely with the things I feed it),

  14. Happiness *is* finishing a book!

    It’s also starting a new one that is practically writing itself. Have been letting the concept simmer untouched for almost six months and the stock, so to speak, has gelled. 🙂

    1. I *adore* that company. Lucky you, seeing ‘Car Man’ live. 🙂 I got to see their ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Cinderella’ pre-pandemic and have been obsessed ever since.

      1. This was my first encounter with this company and Matthew Bourne. I am now a huge fan and will actively seek them out. I’d love to see their Swan Lake. Lucky you, too!

  15. Horses. Going to watch the granddaughters ride, petting the horses, feeding carrots, helping groom Nugget, and finding a calmness in the majesty including a healthy respect for big horses. Weeded a good section in the garden. Planning perennials for the shady area. Moving some plants around to fill in under the shrubs.

  16. I’ve been lighter because a medical test came back negative. Bonus happiness was having lunch with a friend who has moved several hours away. Another bonus: a massage.

  17. Had a happy Birthday Week. Was taken out to dinner, went down to see Hamilton in NYC. Next day threw a big outdoor party. Friends showed up with food and drink, it didn’t rain, the fire burned well, and it was an almost-full moon glowing up the ocean. We had to skip this party for the last few years, so it was great to be there again.
    The yard is now cleaned up and the recycling is full of bottles, and I’m thinking that it’s time for a birthday nap.

        1. Envy. I had a dozen, but will be lucky if any survive the slugs. MUST sow some direct on the allotment in the next couple of days.

  18. I have had intermittant migraines all week, so no tap dancing for me. I transplated lots of Morning Glories and Nasturiums into small pots to be donated to a student-run plant sale. I also re-organized dresser drawers and tossed out many pairs of tights and nylons which I will never wear again (nicer ones went into the donation bag). My boss gave me huge bucket of tulips which were not suitable for sale and I have put bouquets in almost every room. They will only last a few days but they are lovely for the time being. Long FaceTime chat with a close friend who is having job-related struggles. I had no answers for her but it was nice to talk to see her face and talk to her.

  19. My happy is based on my back hurting so much I can barely move. That’s very bad, we ship Tuesday, and hand over keys Friday, especially as I left my personal packing to last. Including tedious decisions of what goes with me in a suitcase, or is shipped or neither.

    The happy is that I had someone offer(! Without hesitation) to let me point at things while they pack for me. Actual tears of gratitude.

    I did think I’d get help, of course. Most people would help a loved one but I thought it would be more like putting basic clothing and toiletries in a suitcase and shipping every thing else. Getting to choose is so much better.

  20. I visited my mom and a friend this weekend, saw two plays, had good food, picked up more food. It was very nice.

  21. I realized this week that I am happiness challenged. My 65th birthday is coming up in July. I was thinking about what to do and could not think of one thing that would give me joy. That set me on the path of figuring out how to learn what gives me joy.
    One thing that makes me happy in the anticipating & the doing – is paid time off days from work. I give me hehehe type glee to know I am not working but getting paid.
    So imagine my joy this week since I get off in approximately 7 & 1/2 hours and I will be off for 5 solid days. 2 of those being paid days off!

  22. Quiet week. I organized a couple of Zoom meetings, a couple of appointments, and a photo op. Tomorrow I need to phone the pharmacy and request that they not return the filled prescriptions that are now ready back into stock until they’ve filled the two outstanding ones, so my good brother can make ONE visit to pick everything up. Their texting system is just a little arbitrary . . . .

    Is it improper to say that I enjoyed Thursday’s January 6 Committee presentation? And legal analyses following. The thing that would make me happier would be to be able to tell Caroline Edwards that her Korean War Veteran grandfather WOULD BE VERY PROUD OF HER. Somewhere in Heaven, he’s busting his buttons.

    I am also happy to have found a bleacher seat pad to use on the dining room chair I mostly use at my mother’s house. Its brand name is Purple and they claim that if a pad is two inches thick or thicker, you can put an egg on it and then sit on the egg, with no damage to the egg! This is furniture my father designed and had built for my mother, 1953-55, by an older workman who made it, piece by piece, in his home workshop, and the overstuffed upholstery on the straight chairs has finally given up. It’s only sixty-nine years old . . . . The comfortable seat will help me keep going through the next weeks of hearings.


    1. AND to my surprise, a photograph appeared at my keyboard tonight of the 100th birthday party of my mother’s step-grandfather in 1978. He’s backed up by his seven surviving children, all identified. I’ll have to scan it and pass it around the family.

      Children, please identify the people in those snapshots, preferably with dates and locations.

  23. Happiness was spending the day in Reading, first visiting the Museum of English Rural Life (better known on Twitter and instagram as the MERL. Then spent the rest of the day with my friends Simon and Adam visiting a local National Trust garden, drinking gin and tonics, and eating delicious food that Adam cooked. It was a perfect weather day as well, so we sat out in their back garden all evening.

    A very good last full day of vacation.

    1. Hey, this is my backyard! I am with the University of Reading and live near Henley-on-Thames. Which Trust property did you visit?

  24. Yay for finishing a book, Jenny!

    My happiness was working on plans for a long-overdue visit with a friend in Connecticut (we usually see each other once a year, but Covid…).

    And brainstorming with my illustrator on the Witch’s Familiars Oracle deck we’re working on, and finally figuring out all the animals and their meanings in the deck, which was a major project. All the writing is slow going because of a 3 week migraine, so it felt good to actually accomplish something.

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