Working Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Bob and I have been working together for just over a year (we started our second try at collaboration in April of 2022) and we haven’t killed each other yet. There have been a few moments when, even though we communicate entirely in e-mail, the tension was such that the entire Spike program throbbed with “If we were were in the same space right now, I would kill you where you stand.” Fortunately, we are both much more mature (I’m too old to fight any more and he’s getting there), so we de-escalate, apologize, and thank the gods we’re in different states. That are not next to each other.

But a year’s anniversary means time to take stock, and we did almost four books in one year, which boggles my mind. It usually takes me a year and a half, except for Lavender which took twelve years, speeding up considerably once Bob got his hands on it and ripped half of it out. We’d have four books done if I hadn’t face-planted for most of 2023 so far, and Bob has been incredibly patient with me while I lost my mind here. I know he’s used to me, but this first four months was extreme.

So I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Robert Mayer who’s put up with me for the past nineteen years (the story of how we met is here), on and off. (We took a break so as to to kill each other for about thirteen years in there.). If you ever need a collaborator, I highly recommend Bob Mayer. Unless you have an unreasoning dislike of zombie pirates.

Any milestones at your work? Or anything else at the work you do?

51 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 26, 2023

  1. I’ve wrapped up the first arc of three in the fanfic that I’ve been working on, and rather than rushing to post this time, I’m enjoying that golden moment of feeling happy in it for myself before I put it out there for anyone else.

    And I’m finally feeling like we’re making progress on a build that should have been finished years ago, but for various reasons has been seriously delayed.

    Now, if I can just kick this sore throat, it’ll be nothing but good times ahead.

  2. I am training another new hire at work. They have all been good kids, but man, am I starting to feel old. The newest one is 18.

  3. I have gotten one of my Octogenarians off the slave-traders’ space ship and out onto the ice planet, where she will shortly meet her handsome, purple, antlered new love.

  4. I haven’t been anywhere near as creative as that! I decided to get serious about getting fit again and set a goal of trekking in Nepal in 2025. That means being able to climb at least 1200 metres in a day. So yesterday I went up a nearby hill to see how far I could get, and the answer was a rather dismal 300 metres. More work is clearly needed. Much more.

    And I cleared a bunch of the chaos that is my garden. That was good exercise too, and highly satisfying.

  5. As much as you two talk about killing, the affection springs off the page. One of the reasons why your collabs have been a comfort read for years now.

    This week I’ve managed to lock down the copy editor and proofreader for my silly book, and I think I may have cracked the bookstagrammer question. Maybe.

    They do “follow trains” which are kind of like chain mail, but for IG follows, and if you get in the loop, you receive a list of people to follow, who also follow you. Some have 40k+ followers. So…it might be useful? If they really follow back. We shall see!

    All of this has been in the interest of procrastinating my final run at my ms. Which I have to go do now. Sigh….

  6. I’m still fighting post-Covid fatigue that makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, which in turn has brought on some depression (well, made it rise to the surface, I guess) but I’m fighting the good fight. I do feel like this pretty much answers the question, “Have I been too paranoid about not getting this?” Ha. No.

    I’d set the goal of finishing my current Llewellyn book by the end of this month, and I’m probably not going to make it. (It isn’t due until the end of May, but I wanted to sneak in some work on the New Shiny Novel before I had to start the next nonfiction, which is due in early September.) But I’m plugging away at it, and we’ll see. I could definitely use a collaborator. And someone to clean my house.

    My birthday is Friday, and a friend is taking me out to dinner. But honestly, I’m not in the mood and I’d rather just stay home and write. Or whine. I really need to work at getting it together. I had a weird dream with you in it, Jenny. Apparently I decided to just show up at your house for some holiday (I don’t remember what it was) and you didn’t care as long as I helped you put stuff in the dumpster.

    Still trying to figure out TikTok. Still confused.

    1. If you need a BookTok tutorial, there’s an absolutely fantastic how-to on the Facebook 20250k group page. The woman who wrote it went viral (1M+, up to #4 BSR) using her protocol, and several people have followed it and hit over 250k views, with a similar boost in sales. So I guess it works? But it seems very straight forward.

      I’ll try to post a link, but I’m not sure if this site allows that. Her name is Rachel Jonas, you can search in the 20250k group if this doesn’t work, and here’s the link:

      Hope this helps!

  7. I have collaborated with the dotter. I grew six tomato plants in Mason jars which are now ready for transplant to her garden. Of course, I asked for the mason jars and lights back. If any survive getting stuck in dirt after their cushy existence in water, there will be pictures, probably with the May Farm Report.

    1. I recommend hardening them off on a porch or sheltered place before you put them in the ground. Lessons the shock to their systems.

  8. I started my late seeds – zinnias, squash, French beans, etc. – and they’re starting to appear. A friend came to stay for the last couple of days, and I went with her to a couple of house viewings, and tried to help her to avoid being overwhelmed.

    I also started work on lost rights of way, and immediately got sidetracked into sorting out my Scrivener projects, which I use for research. I had a horrible ten minutes when I thought I’d lost all the writing I’d done for my novel project – neglected for the past couple of years – until I realized it was in another project stored separately from all the others. I was tempted to give up and stick to Word, but Scrivener is useful for research, which I sync between my Mac and iPad via Dropbox. I’m combining and simplifying the Scrivener projects, and need to give Lost Ways another half day once I’ve done that.

    I’m also trying to get some proof-reading, but having no luck. Which is great (apart from the fact I ought to be earning), because I’ve got so much research and gardening I want to do.

  9. Still at conference in Phoenix with business partner. However, I’m not sure I like the conference anymore. Gone are our weekend activities of hiking, Frank Lloyd Wright house visits, shopping, napping, pool time, and back-to-back Netflix episodes of the addictive Diplomat. Instead there are windowless rooms, PowerPoint presentations, weaponized air conditioning and lukewarm beverages. I’m going to register a complaint.

      1. It’s because men wear wayyyy more clothing than women in the summer and guess who sets the A/C temperature??

        1. I think it’s even simpler than that. Once at a conference we asked them to turn up the heat and they sent in hotel staff who were all muscled men in T shirts who had clearly worked up a sweat moving tables etc and appreciated the cold and they asked us what temp we wanted because it felt fine to them….

          1. I would be grateful for muscled men in t-shirts and accept that in recompense for the cold. There are none here.

          2. Another simple answer: they set the temps assuming that there will be a full-to-overflowing crowd in the room generating a lot of body heat which needs to be offset. But at most conferences, there are generally lots of empty seats, indeed some sessions have more empty seats than filled ones. So nowhere near the body heat to counteract the frigid temps.

            Bummer, but true.

            And then there are the “smart” systems which regulate the whole building centrally and detect warmer rooms on the sunny side of the building and adjust the cooling for the entire building based upon the highest temp detected. I experienced that at a university where I was guest faculty for a semester — the A/C was absolutely frigid and I sat directly under a vent. Building maintenance had virtually no control over the temps and there was no way to block the vent. The secretaries in the main offices had invested in small electric heaters for under their desks to keep their feet warm. So much for “saving on heat and cooling costs”…

    1. We watched The Diplomat this week, can’t wait for season two. What a way to end the last episode. I hope it won’t take a year to get back to us. The shenanigans of politics and being one step ahead of the other guy is just mind boggling. Because they are coming right back at you.

      1. This was the best show I’ve seen all year. The combo of great writing, political/action/suspense and howling black humour with terrific performances and hey a seriously talented multi-racial cast and many strong women characters – loved it all.

        1. TBR means To Be Read. What’s the abbreviation for TV shows? TBW (Watched)? TBS (Seen)? TBV (Viewed)? Whatever. The Diplomat is on my list.

  10. I feel like I’ve done quite a bit this week. I spent Friday – Sunday morning at a Quilt retreat, and completed 2 tops. They’ll still need to be quilted and bound before they’re done.

    I also finished up my niece’s requested baby blanket. Sixteen days from receiving the yarn in the mail to completion. I don’t think it is my new record, but it is pretty speedy. I’ll post that link in a follow up message.

    The front garden needed work, so I pruned the azaleas and the camellias. I’d read where camellias need to be pruned after they bloom, so that you can see through them (and have some kind of air flow). So, they are pruned back hard this time, instead of me just trimming around the buds in October when they start blocking my window. I always severely cut back the azaleas, so now everything looks shorn. Those camellia leaves were still coated with pine pollen, so I got a good dose of that too.

    I’ve also been cleaning up after cats. Wendy started being sick last week, and spent some time in the vet’s office. She’s there again today for an ultrasound. Meanwhile, last night Teddy decided it was his turn. We’re watching/waiting on him. This morning, I turned to Stanley and said “so, you’re the only healthy cat in the house.” He immediately starting coughing. But he got over that and sprinted outside. It’s good to be home.

    1. And good news about Wendy. She’s fine. I’m happy she’s fine, and a little sad that I put her through this because I was worried about her. It’s nice to know for sure.

  11. Ooh – pps – I’ve been messing around with Instagram and figured out a way to make the phone app show you your “following” rather than the other algorithm. I touch the word Instagram in the top left of the screen and I get a down arrow. Press that and select your choice.

    1. Yes! It makes a huge difference to be able to focus on the posts from folks I follow without the barrage of unwanted.

    2. The following feed is so much better for me! If I chose some favorites, that feed might work for me too, but I haven’t tried that. But the default one … ugh. It keeps showing me old stuff by people I don’t follow instead of new stuff by people I do follow. Not as bad as the “for you” feed on Twitter, but still not good.

  12. Do anyone know where to C02 cartridges? Now that BB+B is closing my husband’s source for his semi new kitchen gadget is dried up. He’s tried stores like Staples with no luck.

    1. Is that for sodastream? Target carries them. Used to be in the appliances department, but lately they’ve only been in the customer service office. They’ll take trade-ins there too.

          1. I was in Walmart yesterday and asked one of the crew if they carried any, she wasn’t sure. I should have gone to customer service, but I was focused on cleaning supplies. My favorite scent free laundry detergent has gone from $6.97 to $9.97. May as well just get at the supermarket when grocery shopping. Really, if there isn’t any scent going into the product —– and I wonder why my BP is up. Started a new medication (third) this week. Argh!

  13. I spent four happy days in Arizona visiting family, and enjoyed being in the desert again. I did not hurt during the entire trip, until the return plane was 13 minutes out from KCI airport, in Missouri. It was wonderful not to hurt in my joints. It was great to see my grandkids, son and wife, brother and wife, and step-dad. I really need to do it more often, but air travel is such a hassle, now. The weather was perfect, it being April. There is a pile of laundry to do and a lawn to mow. Back to real life.

  14. I have not been very productive the past week, although I did finally find a dress for the wedding I am attending in the middle of May. I could not, for the life of me, find a dress that was not made of polyester. I even drove to Rochester. NY (a 2 hour drive one way) to see if any of the stores there had any better selection than was available here. The answer…no! But now I only need shoes (or sandals) to complete the outfit as I have a necklace and earrings that will go nicely with the dress.

    Other than that, I have worked very well at avoiding the time trap of the unfinished jigsaw puzzle sitting on the end of my dining room table. I have to be in the right mood to work on it and I am definitely NOT in that mood just now.

  15. The milestone I passed on March 31 was the conclusion of a horrible legal battle I navigated on behalf of my mother which derailed my life, my livelihood and all my creative endeavours for 16 months.

    And while it is hell getting routines and work established again, I have felt light as a feather this past month. Hard times can, as they say, make you bitter or better. I choose the latter.

    1. Congratulations on getting out from under a rock! Enjoy the resulting lightness as long as you can.

  16. Just plugging along with my manuscript — hit the halfway point yesterday, so I’m on track to have this draft done by the end of May, which is my self-imposed deadline.

    Other than that, all I can remember doing is planting some lettuce (third sowing) on my deck and eating the results of thinning the tatsoi seedlings, plus a few little leaves of lettuces that self-seeded from last year’s crop and needed to be pulled to make room for this year’s crop.

  17. I am coming up to the end of all the spring garden work! I still need to prep and plant the veg bed, but the hard push of the past couple of weeks after steady work for the past couple of months is wrapping up. I moved all the plants out of the greenhouse yesterday and installed them in their warm-weather outdoor spots. Then I ran around taking pictures of all the beautiful flowering things and appreciating all the growth and progress.

  18. I remembered it is Working Wednesday ON a Wednesday – don’t know if that is a good or bad sign.

    I remembered (by dint of a note to self propped on computer) to clean my keyboard BEFORE turning it on.

    If I can just remember to speak nicely no matter what the perceived aggravation level, the rest of everyone else’s day will go nicely as well. Typing with fingers crossed.

  19. Day Job continues to be low-stress (this will not last) and I’m kind of basking in it. Also after 2 much too hot days, the weather reverted to cool mornings and breezy afternoons, so I’m basking in *that.*

    What have I accomplished? Quite a lot, actually, but nothing to crow about because it’s all ongoing stuff. Aside from the two chapters of New Book that I’ve written in the past two days. 😉

  20. I finalized the comments on race and ethnicity standards . Except the request for comments is a preliminary request so I may have to do this all again.

    And we have done all the laundry from the house guests.

    Next up; plant the annuals. I think I have 150 or 200 plants and lots of seeds.

    And write a proposal to fund my census work .

    And work on the two commitment ceremonies.

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