Working Wednesday, January 11, 2023

We’re finally far enough into January that all that end-of-the-year stuff is going away (What are YOUR resolutions for this year? To not make any resolutions, I have enough to feel guilty about already) and the after-Christmas sales are done. It’s 2023, let’s get to work. We’re settling into Rocky Start, regrouping for a new year and another three books. As Bob pointed out, the first one is the hardest because it sets everything up, which means we spend time trying to figure out people’s names, the settings (which basically are another character in our books), the weapons (Bob’s job), and the food (that would be me.) Our last negotiation was on the name of coffee shop/bakery next door to the heroine’s shop, which I had been calling the Coffee/Cake and which Bob had called something obscurely German. See below to see how that works.

Speaking of works, what did you work on this week?

You know, it occasionally occurs to me that posting excerpts of how we work is not a good idea because you’ll lose all respect for us. Then I remember this blog is almost twenty years old, and any respect for me went long ago. Go ahead, make mock.

70 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 11, 2023

  1. Happy Wednesday! God, I love reading these messages – it definitely shows me why you two collaborate so well. I’m looking forward to reading all of the books and hope to see many more of the story ideas you have shared here become a reality. Please don’t stop these updates, they are gold.

    1. Hey… I like Voodoo Brew. That has a fun ring to it.

      Maybe you should have naming contests for some of this stuff?!

      1. I go with Voodoo brew. Cora could decorate the place with her Zombie doll colllection and voodoo themed salt and pepper shakers. OT Whatever happened to all those salt and pepper shaker collections that adorned 90 percent of the rural cafes in the US?

    2. Is Bob making an obscure “Wonder Girl” reference? Regardless, I agree it would be a poor choice of name. How about just “Caff”? Short & typable.

  2. I actually didn’t mind the German but it would be clunky to read/say repeatedly. A friend once told me that if she’d know how many times a day she would be saying / writing her business names, she might have chosen differently.

    As for my week, I finished up the first “quick” crochet project. It was a kit I had bought to put a seat cover and feet/socks on a small stool. One is now done. Of course, I bought two kits (to get free shipping!), so I’m working on the second one. The question now is who to give them to. I’m trying to work out who would like them and not get bent out of shape if I appear to be favoring one family over another. And should I give both stools to one family or split them up? The delicate questions of family dynamics!! Anyway, here is the first one.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CnKfwsLpwvM/

    I’m also working on quilting stuff. I’m almost finished with the quilting on my big orange quilt. I ran out of thread, which stopped my progress, but I’ve gotten more and should be good to go.

    1. I have the same problem with the name of my second etsy shop. The email address is a beast to type. I didn’t think about it at the time, was just trying to get a name that was available. I have regrets.

    2. I like my taken last name, but I did learn to regret such a long name when I worked for Hospice, and had to sign it around 100 times at every weekly Coordination of Care meeting. Eventually the majority of the last letters became a long slash. I would not want to type that German name for the coffee shop/bakery numerous times. It would get old, fast.

    3. A few years ago when I had a curio/music box table. I bought knee socks at Walmart from the infants and children section in a holiday style. That’s when my decorating was running rampant. I’ve since scaled way back. Your hand knitted socks look so cute as does everything you create.

  3. I am working on getting over a cold. Not that plague, just the normal kind. I got run down over the holidays, so it is to be expected, but is also annoying. It has pushed back all of my new year’s cleaning and such, as I haven’t felt like doing anything.

    I’m finally starting to feel more lively. Now, onward to scrub the bathroom. And hopefully some fun projects.

        1. I hear you! I’ve been chugging cocoa and tea to combat my respiratory junk (just tested negative for Covid – hooray). I might have to bust out my ramen.

          1. Doesn’t the sugar and milk in the cocoa make the mucus worse?

            I went to our local Asian market and got kimchi. So I add that, spinich, and an egg, to my instant ramen to make it fancy. And nutritionally almost healthyish.

          2. I do a sugar free cocoa. It’s cocoa powder, water and some chocolate stevia. I’ve added some collagen because I need that any way. It’s pretty tasty.

            I’m contemplating going to the store for ramen.

          3. Oh yuk, Melissa. Can you I’magine being the lab assistant in charge of collecting and weighing the “ mucus secretions” also known as the less refined of us as snot.

  4. I keep nearly going under as I edit my vast accumulation of gardening research. Heard this morning that my proof-reading job, which is already a month late, has been delayed another two weeks, which I trust will give me plenty of time to get my edit done. I keep thinking of other stashes of info; and of new ways to organize it – some of which I then realize aren’t actually going to be the most helpful.

    For example, I thought a personal gardening calendar would be useful, and started to put it together this morning, only then seeing that it needs to be minimal rather than maximal in order to be truly helpful (otherwise I’m just giving myself a perpetual extra To Do list, and am liable to drown in the detail).

    I can’t believe how long it’s taking. But that’s why I’ve ended up with huge dark grey clouds of muddle all round me: I get carried away with research/generating material, and never have time to finish making something out of it. Any this year’s goal is to sort it all out so I can use it and enjoy it.

  5. I’ve started a three-book series called Trading Up. It’s about three sisters who decide that they don’t need doctors, lawyers, or accountants in their lives. They need guys who can fix things… Like plumbers, electricians, and carpenters!

    Full disclosure: that’s what I need and they make a lot of money.

    1. Maybe it’s just my area, but a lot of our local tradesmen seem to chew tobacco. That makes it a harder sell for me in a romance context.

      1. In reality, I’ve never hired a tradie that I could see any romantic opportunity with whatsoever. That whole bum crack thing – it’s not just a stereotype; it’s alive and well and really burns my eyes.

        1. I did have one, once. He was half Asian, a little older than me, soft spoken. What can I say, I have a type. Unfortunately he was spoken for with kids. Kevin’s only competition in this town for my affections.

    2. Y’all are cracking me up! Ladies like the tradies! Rofl Reminds me of Red Green – if the women don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.

      And Lupe – you poor thing. In Kentucky I was always sad when a perfectly good ‘tradie’ had a deer rifle in the back window of his pickup and a confederate flag blowing out the back.

      I personally think all of those things are indicators of a man who is only capable of caring about his own orgasm.

      1. Oh, there are plenty of rifles on pickups, confederate flags and mullets in Pennsyltucky. Or as my aunt likes to say, you have Pittsburg on one side, Philadelphia on the other and Alabama all through the middle.

  6. How about the Wunderbar Coffee bar?

    Of course we respect you. (chortles)

    I’m working on promoting the new book, and getting ready to promote the rerelease of my Veiled Magic series, which I get the rights back to. I swear, the business of writing takes about 70% of my writing time and energy. If you and Bob are looking for a zombie, I’m right here.

  7. Starting this post again because I somehow erased the start I made first.

    As far as work goes my activities of daily life have been frustrating and I think I’ll keep them to myself except to say I had to replace my hot water heater. 1300 dollars parts and labor. ARGH

    Writing is making me happier. Learning better ways to get my story across from a fellow writer. I wrote a blogpost to clarify and organize that. I read it for critique before posting and revised it twice re what was said. It’s posted now. Hopefully no more revisions will be necessary.

    I continue to grow more fond of instagram and less fond of facebook.

    Happy about all the things I got done while on stayca. Laundry.

    I have to spend time between now & Thursday at 6 when I go back to my job figuring out how to put my feet up while working.k

    Exciting life I’m leading here people!

  8. While trying to get to sleep two nights ago, I had a flash on rings that will be needed for my story. The next day, I googled them and took phone pics, and printed them out. That led to needing to finally organize all the small, medium and large pieces of paper full of notes I had sitting on my desk. Now I have an accordion file, with sticky note tabs attached to the tops of all research data. It feels good.

    Jenny, I respect you, no matter how smutty and silly you get! I love these byplays. Keep ’em coming!

  9. My resolution is to carefully design my life this year instead of automatically going back to everything I was doing before the pandemic. I keep saying to myself: you’re in charge of your life; you get to choose how you spend your time.

    1. I really liked the book “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

    2. I am reactive by nature too, I do things based on what comes up and what needs doing. Unfortunately it means what I want and what I love are given least priority. Trying to change that, I finished reading 4 new library books in the last ten days, that is half the total amount of new books I read in 2022. Doing something that makes me happy shouldn’t be hard

  10. Respect is fine, but there’s nothing like a good morning laugh, and you and Bob do not disappoint. I’m going to work on organizing the forty-odd bits and pieces into a coherent book. There are 4 sections, so I should be done by Saturday, or at the latest, next Wednesday!

  11. “…nutritionally almost healthyish.” I want to print that out and tape it to my pantry. I woke up after yet another good night’s sleep at 9 AM. I didn’t want to wake up at that hour, but the episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix that I paused when I went to bed un-paused itself – the computer was supposed to be in sleep mode, just like me – and the voices of Rory telling Lorelei that she was coming out at a DAR cotilion… never mind.

    No breakfast. Lunch was a Marketside Chef Salad* with chicken and uncured ham and a Caf-free Diet Coke. Nutritionally almost healthyish.

    I wandered through the main floor with my cell taking picture. The dotter is not at all done with her interior artistry, but I wanted to capture the work in progress. The pictures need a little editing, but some time today I will post them. Hopefully by 4 PM EST. That’s what I’m working on today.

      1. Does the house have two whole distinct sunrooms, or just one on the South/West side with two sunny end corners? I bet your daughter is super happy with a house that looks like that. Good on you, sir!

        1. Drones-eye view
          There’s just the one sunroom on the south side of the house. Facing south is Lee Street. The carport is on the east side, and the driveway is on Lee Street. All the rooms pictured are on the west side – the front side – of the house. Between those rooms and the carport are two bedrooms and a full bathroom and stairs up to the other two bedrooms and a half-bath. The road to the west is S. Mesa Drive. The front door has a larger lighted porch and a sidewalk to the street.

          There is a kitchen door facing north, with a small porch. The stairs down to the Owner’s Suite (AKA half the basement) are in the kitchen, but I have my own outside door. It’s under the kitchen porch. It isn’t lit but has a sump pump and heat tape so I added a string of Christmas lights. Very festive.

          Arranging and decorating the basement is nowhere near as advanced as the dotter’s efforts. I’m waiting on an electrician. I need additional outlets and to split some of the circuits. Plus, I’m a slob. 😉

          1. There looks to be a really promising garden space around the house, Gary! Hope you and the dotter are going to make the most of it.

        1. Since the pictures were taken she has hung curtains and painted shelves white for the in-progress dining room wall. Skillz!

        1. They are the dotter’s plants – they don’t dare look otherwise. 🙂

          I tried to talk her into hydroponics, but she likes her plants and doesn’t want to eat them.

  12. Today was dusting day. That was until I got to the desk where the computer sits. I hit the wrong button with the dust cloth and all my e-mail was lost. Drats! I tried to recover by going back a day but no dice. So, I had no other choice but go through the deleted section and cherry pick what was lost and hopefully brought back what I needed. Time consuming! If I have any online orders outstanding, I always save the documentation until the bill comes in against the receipt. In the meantime, I have an order that I never received, and I’ve been in a conversation with multiple CSR’s. Between the store, what should have been sent and the credit card company. No one wants to take responsibility for this snafu.

    In other news the grandog has been holding out on us. She knows tricks. Not only can she do the usual doggy tricks but she can twirl and lay down on command, she can guess what hand has the cookie. Plus she can speak in two different dog languages. Ask her to speak and she will give a good bark and then ask for a whisper she does a passable murmur. It’s awesome!

  13. I started a quickie crochet cardigan kit pattern so I can get some instant gratification. I finished the back piece in about three days!

    Beyond that, I am brain dead. I have a pile of amigurumi to get through and can’t concentrate enough to do them. I can’t really do anything besides “round and round” and “back and forth” in yarnland.

    In writingwise, I am reading “Spare” and writing up recaps of it for people.

  14. Over the weekend I finished beta draft of new novella. I really like it and have some excellent comments to work with from much-appreciated beta reader, our own Tammy S. 🙂

    Monday I was, for some reason, revved on Organizing Writing Plans and spent nearly three hours on that (before & after Day Job), which definitely did help clear my mind. There is a ton of writer business to be done this year and I needed to see where I could do Actual Writing as well so I don’t end up hating life.

    Day Job continues to be blessedly non-frantic. I am shamelessly taking advantage of it. Not, this week, via Google Docs, but via my e-reader.

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