Happiness is Doing Good Work

I’ve been working on Nita and the thing is, I really love this book. It’s flawed, it needs help, but I did good work in this book. And Bob and I did good work in the Liz-and-Vince books. This isn’t the go-out-and-brag kind of public congratulations that’s all about selling things. This is quietly looking at what I’ve done and knowing that even if nobody else ever sees this, I’ve worked hard and made something good, a private but very satisfying happiness: This is what I do and I’m good at it. Self-confidence porn. Since usually I’m very self-critical, this is extremely happy-making.

How were you good and happy this week?

56 thoughts on “Happiness is Doing Good Work

  1. First again?!? Isn’t anyone else awake at 05:00 on a Sunday?

    I am suffering from undeserved happiness. I have done nothing to deserve it – I just am. I mean, sure I did stuff and cooked stuff and ate stuff and cleaned (a tiny bit of) stuff. I think I’m happy despite all that. Go figure.

      1. Not competing. Took a nap yesterday, woke up around 1 AM. Up for the day, like it or not. Now it’s 7PM and I’m thinking I need another nap.

    1. I probably shouldn’t be, given your 5am Monday is probably my 1am Tuesday (or thereabouts, I don’t know where you are exactly)

      1. Where I am “exactly” is the County of Prince George in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States of America on the North American continent between Canada and Mexico in the western hemisphere of the planet Earth – third rock from the sun – in the Sol System in the main spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. Any more exact than that would mention my computer chair at my computer desk in my daughter’s garage.

        Yesterday, my daughter guilted me into vacuuming and dusting said computer chair by pointing out the depth of the dust deposited on every horizontal component below the seat or behind the back. It took 20 minutes. Some surfaces are very difficult to reach. Now it’s 3:15 AM Tuesday in the Eastern Daylight Time Zone.

    2. I was awake at four-thirty Sunday but I was busy getting ready to go to work.
      Here I finally am with a day off, trying to catch up.

  2. I figured out the first scene in my new WIP is a beauty pageant in the ninth ring of Hell.

    The sin for this one is envy, so that should work well as an inciting incident.

  3. I am really stretching myself as a writer lately. Poetry and flash fiction and working on a novel. I am having fun and learning a lot.

    Also in the way of an announcement Bob Mayer has another book on Kindle to buy for 0.00 dollars. Free.
    And it’s about the Salem witch trials.
    Hallows Eve.

  4. I am slowly getting writing done, both my own and reading other people’s and commenting. I wish I was getting more done and faster, but I’ll take what I can get.

    This week’s happy was finally getting most of my small group together for a ritual (for Samhain, aka Halloween for you non-witches) after mostly being thwarted by various things all year long (thanks, Covid). The weather was beautiful, we got to have one final bonfire in the fire pit before everything was put away for winter, and everyone seemed to get something out of the simple ritual I put together. Plus, yummy feast. My heart is full.

  5. My happiness was an authors’ evening at a “local” (hour-long drive for me) independent bookstore. I got to catch up with a few old friends and make connections with new ones. My only regret is not living closer to the store, because the owner is doing so many fabulous things to support local authors. Plus they’re adding a connected coffee/wine bar in 2023!

  6. Had a day in the garden in the sun, and planted half my spring bulbs – while enjoying the view from the garden shed: https://www.instagram.com/p/CkTAN8LsYkX/ Also saw a couple of friends, and two others rang for a chat. And the plumber came at last: I now have a loo that flushes properly!

    The mild weather and sunshine keeps making me happy – and means the garden’s still in full bloom.

        1. He’s young, he’ll learn. I knew some people who wept tears of joy, when someone turned up and actually fixed the boiler

  7. Today I am happy mostly because the coming week involves a) my birthday for which an afternoon with my BFF is planned b) two days off work, so c) four-day ‘weekend.’ Thus even though I need to go in to Actual Office on Tuesday, meaning my workday will be 8:00 – 6:30 or so instead of 9:00 – 5:00 (I count commuting time as workday and no I don’t get paid to commute), there will be only three days of wrangling work email.

    Yesterday I spent two hard-working hours whacking weeds and then watched episodes 1-4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10. Today I’m catching up on Argh, then I’m going to write a blog post, and then I’m going to write a chapter of the book-in-progress, which I’m pretty sure will make me happy.

  8. I had lunch with a friend who gave me an organizing principle for my next book (brief meditations, already written) and have put together a proposal to go out next week. After a long spell of not trying to pull it together, this feels really good.

    1. It looks very smart – but a bit of a challenge to wear (or for me it would be). Must be warm to snuggle into, though.

    2. I love that rainbow shawl! It’s gorgeous, and looks very warm, in its expansiveness.

    3. That’s hilarious! I love knitting comfort shawls. My writing group does this and sends them out to different organizations like hospice and women’s centers.

    4. The colors are gorgeous and it looks so warm. I think I could adjust to the dangers of tripping for the sake of that warmth.

  9. My happy this week was helping others and giving donations. Helping others and being of service is my ultimate happy place.

    Even with my writing, my main goal is to put a little joy into the world. Of late, my WIP books are taking me a while to get out there because I’ve been juggling the writing and publishing thing with house projects and life, so I’m especially grateful for opportunities to help others more directly as well:)

  10. My first happy this week was getting my new phone up and running. It was considerably easier than initiating service on the first one last year, but I still wish that somebody would tell the customer service reps that giving specific instructions is a lot more useful than maintaining a positive attitude. When I asked the first person I spoke with what I should do if my test call was not successful, she just said, “I have faith” without giving me any suggestions for a back up plan. And, of course, the test call did not go through, even though I tried it 12 times.
    The next day I called again and got a different woman who gave me very specific step-by-step instructions and promised that she would call back if she didn’t see my number was fully operative and, of course, it worked on the first try. I was just on my way out the door to go across town to use my sister’s landline when my phone switched from emergency only to full usage. Hooray for not having to spend hours on the el!

    On Friday I went to my go-to produce market only to find that the romaine was so expensive that salad was definitely not on the menu this week. But they did have my favorite flavor of bread on sale so it wasn’t a completely wasted trip.

    1. Sometimes we really have to push it to get the help we need!! I keep getting coupons on email from a company, and then I must log on, or shop, or add the coupon in the wrong order, and it never goes through, so I have to call them. They credit it, but it’s a pain. I’m glad you finally got explicit directions. I did, too, and expect to have success with the next coupon.

  11. This week I voted early, pulled up the dead tomato plants and put away the cages, used my new grass clipper-on-a-pole to clear the curb, and called my Medicare Advantage plan to get some answers. They will be using the same worthless Over The Counter provider, so I’m switching, which requires a lot of research. Dang! But, there’s time, and I won’t have to put up with low quality offerings next year. There’s a plethora of producers of off-brand drugstore items! Most of them are bad. I have the chocolate lab granddog for the weekend, which gives me companionship on my walks, and garners lots of smiles. Some of the trees are still pretty. That is happiness.

  12. I got a ferry (Newcastle to Amsterdam) instead of a plane to go to a wedding. I love being out on the sea and food in the dining room was unexpectedly excellent. I was very happy with the whole experience
    The work is later when I aim be seen as a pretty social butterfly in a roomful of people with .. excessive political leanings. I think it should not come up at a wedding but it will.
    I will fail to hear and realise that someone nearby wants to dance. If I succeed in avoiding all lectures or provocations while maintaining “charming and delightful” I will be very pleased.

  13. I made casserole for Halloween dinner. I made cookies to take to the pizza company we get dinner from (almost every week). Cleaned up after those two activities. Put together gift bags of (already made) monster cookies for other people. i did laundry. I took the Halloween clothes I will not wear again until next year down to the basement. I brought my fabulous spider skirt up from the basement and was shocked and pleased that the waistband closes just fine (magic, I tell you). (I have been eating a lot of monster cookies) I think I am ready for tomorrow except for making a batch of mutant fudge (cut up candy bars swirled into vanilla fudge) tonight, and garlic bread and salad tomorrow night. Happy Halloween!!!!!

  14. I’m happy to have re-learned, in the nick of time, the lesson that I’ve learned about a hundred times before — that sometimes getting up from the computer desk is more productive (for the writing itself, not just other things) than trying to force the writing. And that taking a nap counts as “writing.” Or at least lying down with my eyes closed while my mind wanders.

    I’d been struggling to finish the outline for the project that will be my NaNoWriMo(lite) story, and going through imposter syndrome, that I didn’t have any good ideas for the final act, and I finally got up and lay down and promptly realized what had to happen at the turning point that leads into the final act, and then I knew what else had to happen there and how the turning point affected all the other stuff that I’d already set up. I mean, there’s still work for me to do in fleshing out the outline (they start a bit vague and I add to them as I write the book), but I’m happy to at least have the skeleton, so I’m ready for NaNo. And I’m amused that it was that nap that made it possible.

  15. I started some sauerkraut today. Only about 2 quarts but it will last me for a long time.

    My chimney will be done tomorrow. I have no medical appointments until December.

    Ans I have an entire week before I start living at the Bureau of Elections.

    Life is good.

  16. I had a mammogram that came out negative, always great. I got the small pruning chain saw and went around cutting up windfall and cleaning up trees yesterday, a bright sunny and cool day. Then a friend and I went to the local brew pub and sampled the twice-yearly imperial stout in the outside seating area, and I saw friends I haven’t see for quite a while. My baby brother (59) is visiting from CA, and the little herd of trick or treaters came round in a little hay wagon while neighbors sat waiting out at the end of their driveways, chatting and catching up. I had a mammogram that came out negative, always great.

    1. Thanks for the reminder, I have a mammogram scheduled for this week and I’d forgotten!

  17. I’m naturally a procrastinator but realized earlier this week that it had reached the point of near paralysis. A number of time sensitive items on my to-do list and I was doing major avoidance coping – I blame the nice weather. I started going for a walk along the river near my house at least every second day and doing at least one item on my list per day. I got out 5 times last week and have made a good dent in to-do list. Progress.

    I dug out my sweet potatoes today. As promised by the person who gave me the plant, the tubers are bright pink, almost fuschia. I got 8-10 smallish tubers but pretty good for my first year. I took some cuttings before we got a frost so hoping I can try again next year. I’ve started using the garlic from my garden – very happy with the size and quality of the bulbs.

    DH and I went to see a local opera company’s performance of Dracula. It was performed in a church that is older than Bram Stoker’s novel. The singers were very accomplished and along with the atmosphere and the fabulous acoustics, I hardly noticed that my butt had gone numb from sitting on a hard church pew. We are trying to be mindful of our spending and focus on experiences. It was a unique outing for us.

  18. Happiness was writing a really good scene (my writing partners said so) on Friday. Saturday – Watching youngest granddaughter R, in her first swim meet, just terrific as she just started in September, having a wonderful cuddle with her waiting for the next heat. Bid on some 4 Winds beer for Grampy and a dinner and a movie for R. Won both. Went to a fund raiser at the barn, the riders and horses were in costume, R was Dorothy and Coco, the new to us horse was the scarecrow. Coco had a yellow flower in her forelock and a straw coloured blanket with fringe as her costume. G sewed both costumes. Bid on a hand knit sweater for G. Won it. It is so beautiful, has mohair and cashmere in the sleeve pattern. She was over the moon as she was trolling the table watching everyone who came near it. It was a very happiness day.

  19. I would like to comment here … I first ‘met’ Jennifer Crusie in 2017/8, I fell in love, my thing is that after I read everything that my library has to offer from someone that I love then I go on Amazon and buy the rest. I tried but there was nothing later than 2012 on Amazon, I asked Jennifer on her website, how come I can’t find anything after 2012? I have issues she replied … I didn’t want to be intrusive so I didn’t ask … was that my mistake? Could I have helped if I did ask? Probably not. Today is 31/10/2022, I have just finished re-reading my Jennifer Crusie library, still in love 🙂 checked Amazon, nope still nothing later than 2012, so I am asking, Jennifer, what can I or other fans do to help you???

    1. Lindsay – Not replying in place of Jenny just letting you know – sometime in the next couple of years a trilogy collaboration between Jenny & Bob Mayer will come out. It’s virtually finished and in the works to be published.

      Also – if you liked Agnes & the Hitman by Jenny & Bob – Bob is writing a follow up series called The Organization. Book 1 is Shane and the Hitwoman and book 2 which just came available today is Phoebe and the Traitor.

      Also it is highly likely a book by Jenny titled “The Devil In Nita Dodd” will be on sale. The previous couple of posts were about that book.

  20. Happiness is Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday, and this is my first time really celebrating it at my house. The first year we moved in, it rained and rained and rained and trick-or-treat was cancelled. And then covid.

    So I am all decked out. A car stopped in the street last week and rolled down a back window for a little one to look at the decorations, which made me happy.

    I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for us as a treat and have mini pretzel bags and fruit leather strips for my visitors because food insecurity is real and I like to give something a little more substantial than candy. I even have individually wrapped treats for any pups who come along.

  21. In my neighborhood I’ve counted fourteen front-yard graveyards – and I haven’t driven down any of the side roads. Seems a popular meme this year.

  22. This year I like the skeletons climbing up the side of houses and peering in windows. So spooky!

    1. On my way to work the twenty foot skeleton which last year was leaning nonchalantly against the roof is now in mid-stride out in the yard wearing a red tie-dye cape.

  23. Another happy! I spent an hour and a bit preparing lunch. Full disclosure – 30 minutes of that was sitting at the computer reading Give the Devil His Due while waiting for the toaster oven to “DING!”
    What I cooked
    It took 8 minutes to skarf one of those bad boys down. It was tres delicioso.

      1. Sadly, those came from the Wal-Mart Grocery department. Peppers that size would greatly exceed the capacity of my indoor hydroponic gardens. My own peppers become part of the stuffing rather than being themselves stuffed. That said, my red sweet pepper plants (in Rancho Cero) have blossomed and are in fruit, but none ripe yet.

  24. Halloween isn’t such a big deal here, but on Saturday my partner and I had lunch at a mall and the mall (or their marketing dept) was making a big thing of it. They had a crowd of Star Wars characters, among others. My 60-something partner is an uber-enthusiastic fan and reeeeally wanted to get his photo taken with them but didn’t quite dare. I had great fun talking him into it. Inner 5 year olds for the win!

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