Working Wednesday, September 28, 2022

So Bob and I have this system where we date each draft, and then when we rewrite, we change the date on the draft. Except somewhere here toward the end, both of us tired and trying to work on three books at once, something went Very Wrong, and I edited an old draft instead of his latest in which he’d made major changes. Which means we ended up with diverging drafts. I would go into more detail, but I’ll just end up screaming.

But we are much, much closer to the end now, just a few thousand words and a few thousand brain cells dying from how fast we did this. All of which is to say, I’m sorry I haven’t been very present but we really, really, really want to get these books done. We’re running out of sunshine here, and sooner or later that window is going to close.

Having whined all of that at you, enough about me. What did you work on this week?

61 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, September 28, 2022

  1. I ran from Ian. And I am so happy that I did. He came onshore as a Category 4 hurricane about 125 miles from my home.
    I can’t imagine what the last 5 hours or the next 48 hours would be like if I had stayed.
    Jenny I’m so happy you and Bob are almost there!
    Carry on – rest time is near!

    1. I’ve been watching the Weather Channel – it looks to become a Cat 5 before the eye comes ashore. I’m very glad you evacuated!

      1. After Snowmegedon a few years ago my nephew moved his family to Florida. With each career move from the Keys to now just south of Tampa a hurricane has followed the family.

        1. You know, maybe there’s a new public service career there. He should move out here to the SW. We need the rain.

          1. SW wouldn’t you be opening yourselves up to tornados? I just texted my SIL and she replied back that he put his hurricane shutters up and are staying home.

    2. So far we are safe. Wind is kicking up some here and raining on & off. We lost cable a while ago. Still have electric so ac & water.
      Not sure when I can get back home or how good or bad it will be.
      Again for now we are safe.
      Thanks for all the good wishes!

  2. I’ve been working on those quilt blocks I shared last week. This past weekend, I put them into a top. I’m trying to get it done and to the long armer so I can gift it to one of my staff who is retiring in December. Hence the hurry.

    I’ve also been spending lots of hours quilting on my home machine. I had taken a class on ruler work about a month ago, and have been practicing on one of my tops. That top had been part of my UFO challenge, and I figured I might as well take it all the way to completion. Maybe by next Wednesday I’ll have a picture of that for you.

    1. One of the joys of reading the Working Wednesday post is getting to see your quilts Nancy. I have quilt envy. I really like this one and the way the colour fades as you go towards the right bottom corner.

  3. I’m working on getting the garden put to bed for the winter, and making other preparations for the colder weather (getting a chimney repaired, having the ACs taken out). And since Sunday I have been battling a mysteriously clogged toilet, and chasing plumbers, which are in seriously short supply where I live. (My regular folks said they were booking into NOVEMBER, with no allowance for emergencies.) I have a recommended handyman coming this afternoon, and I’m praying he can fix it.

    Also working on first reader feedback/line edits for my mother’s manuscript. She’s a good writer, but it is a little bit of a slog. I need to find my notes on Jenny’s Beats class so I can send them to my mom. There are definitely scenes that don’t move the story forward. Jenny, do you know offhand where I can find that?

    And don’t apologize for working on your own writing, Jenny. The sooner you finish, the sooner we all get to read the finished project!

    1. I looked for it, but all I found in the first sweep was the How To Write Scene frames from my Keynote presentation to the romance writing class I taught a million years ago. Do you have Keynote? The presentation has 46 frames or I’d put it up here

      1. Nope, no keynote. This was from a workshop you gave at RWA in 2008 or 2009? And it was online for a while. I think I have it somewhere in my computer. Will have to check.

  4. The last of my 3 recently-longarmed quilts is now bound and labelled! And posted on Instagram.

    The previous 2 are also up there – my post last Wed was moderated due to having 2 links in – let’s hope this one gets through 🙂

    So happy to have these done.

    Also been trying to book someone to fix the cracks in the bedroom wall – looks as though we might end up needing a structural engineer to come and look at it, so fingers crossed that this doesn’t end up getting very expensive…

    Operation House Declutter continues – and there are even some places where you can tell the difference 😀

      1. And so homey. You could crawl under that and feel that you were in your designated part of the world.

  5. Does anybody need a job? We are so short of dispatchers in Vermont that I volunteered to fill in on nights and weekends until we are better staffed. The starting pay is good and it’s Vermont so we are spared the more horrific crimes, at least for now. So if you know anyone who wants to move here, send them my way.

    Meanwhile, it’s an hour commute each way to the training they want me to do (even though I do dispatch from my desk quite frequently) and I’m going to be busier than I want to be. But I don’t have kids at home or a romantic partner so it makes sense for me to volunteer for shifts.

    And it means money for travel. Can’t beat that!

  6. I have been watering the new plants almost every day. Even though it’s cooler, it is very dry. There are cracks in the earth where the Creeping Charlie I pulled out left bare spots. I hope the grass will fill in. We just need more rain. I have written on my book when I have time. The visit from Arizona family took most of the weekend and Monday. But it was so great to see them! The cherry tomatoes continue to bear, so I have fresh ones for my salads. Walking is a joy in this weather. Mowing is on the list, and changing over my wardrobe, which means taking a batch of clothes out of the upstairs closet and putting them on the bed, then bringing a batch of the same color up from the rack in the basement and putting them in the closet. Then, taking out another batch to make room, and carrying the first batch down to the basement to hang on the rack. I hang clothes of the same color together so I can find them more easily. You get the picture. This year, I need to weed out the misfits and items I no longer can, or want to, wear.

  7. We are hunkered down waiting for Ian to pass. We are south of Naples and this is our first hurricane. It’s a whopper. This morning there was a small break in the rain when I grabbed the dog and took her outside. But it’s really kicking up now

    So… we are learning to play Mah Jong and keeping our fingers crossed that we keep the power on… although it has started flickering.

      1. We did very well during the storm but lost internet until recently. Never lost power so we were very lucky and blessed. It hit about 20 miles north of us and once we got internet/TV back we could see the war zone.

        I brought my mother back to middle TN yesterday and part of the interstate was closed for them to check structural damage. Unfortunately the detour took us through about 10-15 miles of flooded roads. I was grateful for being in an SUV.

        But the number of technicians from other states to help restore power was so inspiring … and the neighbors where we were staying (my brothers home) that came out to do cleanup the next day helped restore my faith in humanity.

  8. So, it’s been a while. Two weeks ago we were in Regina to visit FIL. His memory is really bad, but it’s hard to know if he’s really failing to remember or just looking for attention. He was doing well when he lived at the other retirement place but since he moved he’s gone downhill. My SIL really babies, almost baby talks, him and indulges his silliness so that might be part of the problem. He got really mad at Paul and picked a fight because we were in Toronto for vacation longer than we were there visiting him, completely ignoring that Paul had to work.

    Since then it been all out on the fall chores. We put up the lattice around the deck and got the stair on, pulled the garden, started getting the closet doors ready to put back up, and painted a bunch of stuff. The list goes on forever. Then there’s the out-of-town appointments. Oy. The days are just packed.

    Fortunately, the weather has been beautiful which meant all the outdoor chores were easier.

  9. No big projects accomplished, but my slow-but-steady work is starting to pay off in both my house cleaning and my fiction writing. Too early to share details, but it looks like I’ve got a home for a new cozy-mystery series and will have deadlines again for the next year and a half or so.

    I’m weird, I know, but I just love deadlines — as long as they’re not quite as intense as the self-imposed ones Jenny and Bob have had this year. As soon as I realized I was going to need to finish the series, my brain immediately came up with a solution to the thing that had been keeping me from finishing the first book!

  10. I painted one jeans jacket and four neckties yesterday. It feels like an accomplishment because 1. it used up some of the materials I have been sitting on for a year and 2. it is the beginning of my prep for the holiday season. Late, as always, but progress. I credit the Ren Faire. My local one is down towards Lancaster on an estate that has been converted into a winery and the buildings are all permanent, as well as plants and trees and gardens. It’s all built on from year to year and the aesthetic is very fun. And all the little shops are themed and curated. Being around that much care and stuff that I genuinely like is inspiring.

    I am having frustrations with both Etsy and Instagram. But I feel like they have me over a barrel with no good alternatives, so I am trying not to dwell on it.

  11. Sending good thoughts and stay safe wishes to all the folks in Ian’s path!

    On the work front, just turned in an interview with Nisi Shawl to Galaxy’s Edge. Still plotting and researching the sequel to my Gaslight Western SIREN BRIDGE. My goal is to finish the comment draft by the end of December. Fingers crossed real life obliges, but I’ve got my doubts. LOL

  12. Doing one play on weekends, rehearsing another on weekdays, I have no time for much of anything else. I called in sick one day to actually get things done like picking up clothes.

  13. For me, it’s a typical Wednesday. This week, I gardened and cleaned and lied about cleaning. The Ranches need attention (6 Smart Garden-3s). One at a time, they’ll be emptied and cleaned and refilled, which means the dishes must be done first. No hurricanes in my vicinity. The AC is turned off.

    I read a neat quote. John Rogers: “ There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

      1. Sorry —

        He wrote most of the best episodes of LEVERAGE (and generally was the force behind it). I love how supportive he is of his staff and new writers, as well as how angry he gets (much like Nate Ford) at the capitalists who “broke the world,” as he puts it in the finale.

  14. I’ve been mostly resting between trips – the week in Derbyshire wiped me out for three days, and then I needed to prepare for my current trip: I’ve just arrived in Surrey to stay with an old friend and have a day at Wisley (RHS garden); on Friday I drive down to Worthing, stopping off at another favourite garden, in time for my niece’s wedding on Saturday. Then I have to get back home promptly on Sunday, since we arranged last night that she and her new husband are going to spend the night with me on their way to Ireland for their honeymoon.

    I also got the worrying rattle in my car diagnosed, and cured for now, for only £15 (I was thinking it might be the beginning of the end – it’s 17 years old, and I don’t know whetherI can afford to replace it). Once I’m back home, I need to chase Penguin for proof-reading work in order to supplement my state pension. Unless of course my premium bond comes up.

    1. Good luck. My truck is 18 years old, and this year I’ve had to do some major repairs/maintenance, but it’s holding its own. The cost was still cheaper than trying to purchase a new vehicle, or newer one. There’s some comfort in knowing it will be there for me. Hint: if you’ve been using the same key for 17 years, it may be very worn down in spots, and your car won’t start without full contact with the key. I learned that the hard way. Luckily, I had saved the second key only for use as an auto shop key, so it was in good shape, so it’s now the main key, and I copied it for the shop key.

      1. That’s an idea. I’ve used them 50:50, though, I think – no problems so far, apart from the battery running out. I’ve only done 55,000 miles.

    2. I was thinking seventeen was pretty old and then I counted and realized my truck is eighteen. No, I don’t intend to replace it any time soon.

  15. I spent the weekend coaching kids in Chicago, with mixed success. Now I’m back home trying to get myself ready for our trip to Croatia next week for the Veteran World Fencing Championships. Also mixed results so far.

      1. One of the beautiful things about fencing is that it really is a sport that you can do for life. I fell in love with it very soon after I started when I realized I could outsmart bigger, faster, more athletic opponents.

        I have taught a beginner in his late 60’s, a grandfather taking a beginner class with his grandchild. if you have the average health and athletic ability for someone in their late 60’s you can certainly learn to fence and have fun with it.

        Theee is actually wheelchair fencing for less abled people, but it can be harder to find.

        I would estimate the average age of our adult beginner class to be around 40 at the moment. Though many clubs don’t have a separate beginner class for adults and they have to learn alongside the kids.

  16. Usual meetings and cleaning.

    I’ve been so unable to focus recently because so many different things to do through the end of the year. I finally wrote them all down so I won’t forget anything and can schedule them properly. I love lists, It’s so satisfying to cross things off them. Head’s still not quite where it should be but I think it’s be better once I know what the chimney is going to require.

    AS for your being present, Jennie, don’t apologized. You’ll more than make up for it when the books come out.

  17. I spent most of last Saturday doing a pre-relaunch review/edit of one of my older books. We have a new cover for it, so it’s time to fix things that bug me, and one of those things was comma splices. I did a search for the term ‘, and’ … found 853 of them. In an 80K-word book. OMFG. Anyway, by the time I finished scouring the whole book to get rid of those, had it down to 250ish of which most were Oxford commas. Along the way I tweaked a few other small things. Have one more pass, to be done while I get the revised text into paperback format, on the schedule for this Saturday.

    Sunday was Going Out To See Friends day so I didn’t accomplish much. After work Monday I did 90 minutes of yardkeeping which improved matters a lot in the front. After work yesterday I did 60 minutes of yardkeeping, mostly watering & taming the bougainvillea. (There will be none of that today because it’s been hellishly hot and I’m too tired/cranky even to stab weeds.)

    On the decluttering front I’ve now scanned six of my old journals. Also pulled down the old rolling bag which is just that bit too big and heavy to meet new carry-on requirements (has been replaced with new Samsonite hard-sided bag that weighs less than half as much and is ‘guaranteed’ to meet major-airline dimensions); emptied old bag out (because I stored all my other various hauling-things devices inside); organized a total of 5 bags for Goodwill. Including the going-to-work handbag that I got to celebrate the new job (three years ago) and never really liked. I’m returning to the homely canvas bag from Sierra Club.

    Also read a book that qualified as work, but I’ll rant about that tomorrow. 🙂

  18. After going through a 16 day bout of Covid a couple of months ago my brain is fried and now I’m lucky to write one decent paragraph a day:( I really must try to push myself harder…

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