Working Wednesday, January 18, 2022

I had a work calamity that I still haven’t fixed: My laptop is stuck on a screen I’ve never seen before and can’t get out of. I tried for a couple of hours and then realized I was going to have to go to the mall to find a Genius Bar. And I didn’t want to go to the mall. So I had Apple overnight me a cheaper laptop as a backup (yes I am eating peanut butter for the rest of 2023 because I had to replace my iPhone, too), and I actually like it better. So I waited for the battery to run down on the old one–that takes forever on a Mac–to see if that cleared up the screen. Nope. I’m stuck with the Genius Bar.

But Bob and I got to 50,000 words on Rocky Start this week, so that was good. The week was not without disagreements–I want a Chinese restaurant in Rocky Start and he doesn’t–but we’re moving right along. See below for a brief look at how we’re doing.

Enough about me. What did you work on this week?

Then we had a minor disagreement about flashbacks (that happens about once a day):

Then we had a brief discussion about dialogue:

And then he tried to blame me for his health:

So you know, business as usual. But 50,000 words is pretty good.

78 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 18, 2022

  1. Work today is volunteering at a local humane society thrift shop. But mostly today, I just want to be squee!!! for 5 new books in the works 😊.

      1. Hey! I know the correct pronunciation of Pho. You are so naughty! (in Variation on a Theme Steve is dating a French Vietnamese girl, Jasmine Nguyen, and that’s their favorite restaurant. Puns abound, for awhile, and especially when they introduce others to Pho King.)

  2. If you ever feel tempted to publish these Jenny/Bob text messages in a book, it would shoot to the top of the NYTimes bestsellers list.

    I’m plotting a new book and panicking because I’m plotting a new book.

    1. I was just thinking that too! Maybe with little cartoon caricatures ( Jenny pulling out hair, Bob making finger pistol)

        1. What is this Wellbutrin, and where can I get some? I don’t tolerate THC, so that’s out. I have non-THC CBD, and flower essences, and and essential oils, but some days they just don’t do it.

          1. Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that works differently than the 3 major groups of antidepressants (tricyclics,MAOIs and SSRIs). Although it is somewhat old fashioned, it has been seeing a bit of a resurgence in recent years.

          2. I use it as an antidepressant. It’s not an SSRI, it’s an NDRI so it impacts norepinephrine and dopamine. I’ve been taking it for the better part of 19 years and it’s been a Godsend.

          3. Meant to say, it’s had two big side effects for me. One, if I don’t take it early in the morning, I’m wade awake all night, which makes it hard to get up early the next morning . . . .

            The other is that it’s a massive appetite suppressant. I generally manage to eat only one meal a day because I forget the others. Another two months of this and I’ll be down to my HS weight.

    2. Funny how different writers approach writing so differently — I’m plotting a new book, and feeling the opposite of panic. I love this part, and then I panic when it’s time to execute the plan. Of course, I do have panicky moments, like when I realize the initial idea for who the killer is won’t work because it’s too obvious, and I need to figure out how to tweak it to be not so obvious. But overall, I love this phase, when everything is possible and I haven’t had a chance to ruin anything, because it’s all potential, nothing fully formed yet.

  3. I had a lot of other things come up, including a trip to the emergency vet (and a follow up trip to the regular vet.) Apparently Stanley has sprained both his wrist and his elbow, most likely jumping down from something pretty high. I’m supposed to “curtail his activity”, by keeping him from jumping on stuff. Yeah right. I’m also supposed to dose him twice daily with drugs to keep him sleepy and less active. So far I’ve been victorious, but he’s a cagey guy, and runs surprisingly fast with his limp.

    But in the meantime, I’m quilting. Here’s the corner I did on Sunday. I really like it, so I’m working hard on the rest of the quilt to get it done for the show.

    More next week I’m sure.

    1. There’s a commercial running now on TV showing two dogs — one big, one tiny, and a shipping carton on the front step. The huge one says (working class Brit accent) “Look, Georgio, the peanut buttah box is here!” to which the tiny one starts posing long explanations about how it’s the pet meds box, and Mom just covers the meds in peanut butter, so it’s NOT a peanut butter box at all.
      To which the big guy replies, still looking at the box, “that means we’re getting peanut buttah…. the peanut buttah box is here!”

      So, would peanut butter forestall the jumping?

      1. I love that commercial! But no, he’s not that motivated by food. He enjoys being outside, and in lieu of that, is patrolling the windows so he can live vicariously. The real way would be to lock him in a room with no furniture, but that would be cruel (not to mention impossible to find in my house). So far, he does most of his jumps in stages – from the floor to a chair to the table just now.

    2. Ooh, yummy texture! I feel the urge to go embroider something, but the task ahead of me is mending a sock, and you do not want texture on the bottom of your foot.

  4. 50,000 w0rds is spectacular. Even between two of you. I, on the other hand, am pretty sure I have been taken over by zombies, and have produced no words except a newsletter and an oracle deck proposal, and some emails. None of which are the new novel I am supposed to be working on.

    Today is going to be eaten by a trip to an eye specialist in the bigger town an hour and a half away, and then a podcast interview when I get back. But the workmen are working, so that’s something.

  5. I finally got enough sleep to feel like a normal person, and it’s amazing how energizing that is. I am tossing things that before, I just looked at and said to myself, “I should get rid of that, or I should sort that stuff.”

    My trauma is that Siri has suddenly decided to throw completely random words into my dictation, and she is doing it frequently. It is so frustrating. Texting with friends and family used to be soothing and fun. Now it is one convoluted sentence after another to correct, if I catch it in time. Grrrr.

    Jenny, I hope you get your computer back, soon. We are so dependent on technology, now, and it can seriously, thoroughly destroy our sanity.

    I love that line, “Oh, thank God. Nobody had died since the day before. I thought you were off your game.” LOL

  6. I produced a bunch of W-2s and 1099s. Boring but necessary.
    I also realized the mystery I’ve been working on isn’t working. Annoying, because I’m already 20K words in.
    I may return to a romance I started a few months ago. It has stuff about espionage and codes in it, which is sort of fun, if total fantasy. I’ve been reading a book about the guy who cracked Napoleon’s codes, and realized that I know absolutely zilch about real codes, hence the fantasy.
    Love your email conversations! Having read them will make reading the books even more fun.

      1. “The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes,” by Mark Urban. (Looked it up — not the one who read it….)

  7. Time is winding down. Today could be the day I renew my antivirus or not. I have a few days left. Those easy peasy instructions of 1,2,3 do not and have never been on my radar. I don’t think I’m a procrastinator, but this is the type of thing that I drag my feet on. I can think of ten other things to do before tackling this, like what I’m doing now.

  8. Maybe, following others’ ideas, you could put some of the e-conversations in the back of the novels, instead of those annoying (imho) readers’ guides with questions.

    Computer troubles are the worst, right up there with car troubles or sick cats. So sorry, especially because you have to go to a mall.

    I’m working on scaring up some freelance work and doing the tiniest bit of cleaning.

    1. We’re talking about doing a book on collaborating, and then using some of the e-mails to illustrate. Not all. There’s a lot of misc. stuff in there. We just spent about fifteen minutes talking about war and politics, which have nothing to do with the book.

  9. You still have a mall? That’s kinda fun. We have a self storage island in a sea of empty store fronts and sometimes a Spirit Halloween.

    I am feeling better. I used my day off to deep stress clean the bedroom and upstairs bathroom. It’s a small beginning, but it helps. And I finally started some simple creative projects. I got some paint pens, which are very fun, and I made two goth jackets inspired by Victorian grave stones. Emily Dickinson has the best poetry about death. And a lot of other things.

      1. Thanks! I seem to be drawn towards a darker aesthetic this year. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s be cause I started out the year watching Wednesday…

          1. I am playing with Tiktok. It’s a little intimidating, but all of the editing options are pretty impressive. I have no idea what I am doing.

  10. I have finally – this morning – finished my 75,000 word Gardening Info edit. I’m now going through it for ideas and plants I want to add this year. Then I’ll output it as a PDF for my iPad, and if possible the plant lists as an ePub for my little iPhone, so the info’s to hand when I’m wandering round a nursery or plant fair.

    So the rest of this week is garden brainstorming and working out my seed orders. Plus a bit of actual gardening, hopefully, in the milder weather forecast for the weekend.

  11. I ordered a RAM upgrade for my desktop (which I’ve procrastinated on for at least a year, but upgrading to Windows 11 recently — it’s a huge memory hog — made it more annoying to not get more RAM than to get it, although I may not feel that way when the upgrade gets here and I have to actually install it)! And I’ve been brainstorming the third book in the Three Sisters B&B cozy mysteries (the first will come out this fall, then every 6 months), so I have a general idea of what’s going on in the third, so I can foreshadow it in the first two books. What I need to do, but have not done, is finish the two purple quilts, one of which will be for a friend’s baby, and the other of which will be donated to an auction to support voting rights.

  12. I’d like to be working on outside pruning jobs but the weather keeps not cooperating. So working on planning the year’s garden, cleaning the house, laundry, parenting, the usual.

  13. I’m participating in a longitudinal health study in Ontario that’s always asking me to do something or other. Today it’s one of their favourites, the FIT assessment, which is a fancy term for a self-administered colon cancer test kit involving…one’s output from one’s colon. I always enjoy popping the output into the mailbox, although I feel I should be attach a little letter, something like: Dear Canada, Here is my poop. Love, Tammy.

    1. I ‘m in a large scale Covid-19 study that requires me to bleed into 5 separate circles and fill them completely. For some reason, the last time they sent me a card to fill, my fingers would not cooperate and the blood went everywhere except in the circles. They sent me a new card with instructions to fill the circles completely, but I still couldn’t do it. I have no idea why I had trouble this time when all the previous samples were eventually up to snuff and I have no idea if I am still enrolled in the study. So I can really empathize with your mailing in the poop cards.

      The things we do to try to make test results apply to women!

      1. Aunt Snack, the covid study I’m in only wants five circles, so I assume it’s not the same one. But I, too, am willing to bleed for science. The first time I did it, they only included two lancets in the kit. Fortunately, I did it at work where I was able to acquire more. Why won’t my blood clot that fast when I want it too? The next time they sent four lancets, so I know I wasn’t the only one.

        1. We are probably in the same study. Each of the cards I did had 5 circles, too.
          As for clotting, I usually don’t need a bandage when I have a blood test, but they usually don’t take it out of my fingertips the way this covid test did. My fingers bled everywhere except into the circles.

        1. Love may be forever, but it sounds like for you at least, poop is gone with a pop into a mailbox. 🙂

  14. Happy Third Wednesday of the Month (AKA Social Security Check Day)! I can afford to pay my mortgage, or eat. Maybe both.

    I just got out of bed, roused by a missed phone call. 12:48 in the afternoon. I might have been up really, really late last night reading Welcome to Temptation again. It is such a pleasure having heat and electricity again! My desktop thermometer says 72.5°F/22.6°C. Also 40%RH.

    Home Moanership is never without problems. Never! Jest some’s less worser’n others. Good heat? Good power? The hot water faucet in the tub drips in 8/8 time. Step 1 – locate and shut the cutoff valve. Done. Step 2 – disassemble the faucet and identify the gasket/o-ring/seat type and run to Lowe’s for a replacement. But first, there’s coffee!

      1. AND another! Lowe’s did not carry the right seat. They sent me to McKay’s Tru-Value Hardware. Tru-Value had exactly the right part… 40 years ago. I searched thru bins and found something that might substitute for the right part. I installed it. It’s a temporary fix.

        NEXT problem, please.

        I tested a reservoir with Lucy the hydroponic garden. It worked. Since Lucy was full of water, I planted six lettuce plants. They probably won’t grow – I was fully dressed when I planted them.

  15. Yesterday was a busy day. We worked on cleaning the storage room. Paul and I have incompatible cleaning/organizing styles so there was a lot of me, the control freak, biting my tongue. It’s not that I’m a perfect cleaner/organizer, far from it, it’s just that I’m a seriously awful control freak who has very specific ideas about how things should be done. I have learned, however, that if I want help doing things or I don’t want to be (rightly) told that I will be the one doing that thing by myself, forever, until the end of time, I keep my mouth shut unless explicitly asked for instructions on how do to something.

    I also started moving the decor stuff back upstairs after moving it downstairs in preparation for the great flooring install however long ago that was. I unboxed everything and still have to put it all away but at least everything is in the general area where it lives. The next big project is the library/downstairs craft room where I am planning on getting myself back into stained glass work.

    Quick question to the Argh world. Do you have an air fryer? Do you use it? Do you like it? Paul can get one for basically free from his work but we aren’t sure we would use it. I am not a “trendy cooking gadget” person but if it actually does cook things crispier and quicker than the convection oven we already have, I might give it a try. Since it’s free.

    1. Crispier? I don’t have an air fryer and now I know I don’t want one. Crispy is never what I’m going for.

    2. I have one. I love it! And I’m not much for kitchen gadgets, either. There are tons of recipes available now, but sometimes I just use mine for roasting vegetables.

    3. Free air fryer… take it. My sister says it is more energy efficient if you just want to cook some hash browns then using the oven

  16. I’m sick of my work. ‘Nuff said. I’m sick of being the one who finds all the problems and is thus forced to report them and be point person on dealing with them and thus gets in trouble, which I do whenever people see/hear me here. I’m sick of being seen and heard and getting in trouble for it, I just want to hide in the basement with the stapler already.

    I finished reading Spare and writing very long recaps of it.

    I don’t know why, but I can’t do any amigurumi or any complicated yarn projects right now, my brain is just all NOPE to this. So I am doing layers of skirt that just go round and round and crochet that just goes back and forth. I started a crochet cardigan kit that is going very fast, I finished all the main pieces in 1.5 weeks and am now on to the sleeves.

  17. “The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes,” by Mark Urban. (Looked it up — not the one who read it….)

  18. I am usually a lurker on this page but your laptop fix spurred me to record my joy that I am not crazy (completely). I have a wireless printer that has been offline for three weeks because I MUST HAVE DISCARDED the whatjimicallit secret pw number that allows me to download the drivers again. And so … I am seriously going to buy another printer so that I don’t use up more valuable time looking for that damn pw/number or sitting online with a chat-helper.
    Because I want to get stuff done in January, not fix the bloody printer again!

  19. This week I worked on car maintenance, having last done a major service 5 years ago … brakes and 2 new tires sorted, and a note into my planner as to what will be due next year (not much, especially if I drive less than 1000 miles again this year).

    Finished 2nd draft of the latest novella.

    Returned edits for the latest novel.

    Loaded updated text and new covers for 2 backlist novels; published ebook and large-print PB edition of a novella that previously appeared only in a collection; read through my copy of earliest backlist novel with a red pen since I now have a new cover for that and it’s moved up the queue for re-launch.

    Read a rage-inducing book and immediately had an idea of how to use a version of its ‘romance setup’ as a back-story element in a new novel of my own.

  20. I’ve been updating our insurance.
    I should have told the car insurance that we no longer commute and that our mileage is down two years ago—it’s cutting our car insurance by a quarter.

    Working on lots of household chores like that and also packing up files from my old job to return.

  21. I survived another board of elections meeting. Next up a special election for PA state senator.

  22. I just commented to someone that my to be written pile is getting bigger than my to be read pile – and it is -and I like it.

    I read something completely new style at my critique group last night. Mostly good reviews.

    Not much else going on.

    Loving the colab stuff. Eager for the Liz Danger books.

  23. I’m mostly working on well, work stuff. I’ve got my mid year performance review tomorrow. Given I haven’t had any guidance or support for 12 months, due to no boss, it will be interesting to see what rating I get at the end of the process. I don’t actually care about it, just that a number of open questions about my role and responsibilities are finally answered. One of those answers might be that my job is redundant. Which I’m fairly sanguine about.

    On the fun side, my watercolour painting improves, with some not too bad trees in a row, and a recognisable orchid that starts with just water being brushed on the paper in the shape of the petals, then drops of colour are added in the centre, which fan out through the water, then running a thin line of a different colour around the edges of the petals. Once dry, black ink in the middle, and a green stem is added. Fairly easy, and lots of fun. It’s really nice to enjoy the process, and have a not-to-bad end result. Wins all round.

  24. We are both home with Covid. My memory is shot. I knew he would get sicker then me. I had it all planned. My plan has failed I am getting one chapter of all creatures great and small read a day. And cleaning my iron. I changed my jammies today.

    Bright spot is reading eBay and etsy. But forgetting my password.

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