Working Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Bob and I are getting close to the end of a first draft of Rocky Start. This one took longer than Lavender because we started from scratch, it took me forever to get the character of Rose even close to right, and then a ton of stuff happened to both of us and slowed us way down. Plus there was the usual bickering. But we can see the end in sight. Of course the end of the first draft is just the beginning of the rewrite so . . .

How’d your work go this week?

115 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 7, 2023

  1. I am on a retreat with my team! I started this company in the summer of 2020, but we work remotely, and have never all been in the same place before and most people had never met in person at all. It’s been super fun!

    We have worked on some big-picture things that are easier to figure out when we’re in one room with chart paper (today we are talking about our theory of change and logic model as we consider how to best measure and evaluate the impact of our work – which is fun for people in a company whose unofficial tag line is “nerdy in a good way!”)

    But we have also spent time making friendship bracelets, getting massages, playing Poetry for Neanderthals, drinking wine, having s’mores by the fire, and laughing until our stomachs hurt. They keep asking, “Can we do this every year?”

      1. It’s a game kind of like Taboo, in that you are trying to get your team to guess a word or phrase. The trick is that you can’t use any words longer than one syllable. If you do, you get hit gently(ish) with an inflatable “no stick.” I had never played it until this week, and it is pretty fun!

        1. I did a retreat last year with my online writing critique group, and we played a game where someone picks a book that no one has read (you need to be staying somewhere with a bunch of books), and the person running that round reads out the blurb on the back. Then everyone writes a proposed first para for the book, and the person running the round writes out the real first para. Mix them up, read them out, and you have to guess which is the real one. If someone guesses your made up one as real, you get a point.

          It was the best fun.

  2. I am stress cleaning. It’s cyclical. First I get too tired or busy to pick up after myself and then I get to the point where I can’t stand it and manically put it all away. But I get the payoff of watching the empty space grow.

          1. Idk, Marie Kondo might object to the competition, and she is a little scary.

            Also, my hubby is more obsessive than I am. He vacuumed me last night with a little hand held vac so I wouldn’t get crumbs on his nice clean floor when I stood up.

          2. Hey Maria isn’t the only game in town – there’s something called Swedish Death Cleaning now. I bet you could come up with better branding than that. Maybe you could be the Stress Human Roomba – you go round and round in circles and things get tidy.

          3. Swedish Death Cleaning is pretty fun. I read a book about it and there was this one section about dildos…

            I love Human Stress Rumba. I think that I shall have a tshirt made.

          4. How you managed to get dildos into a conversation about cleaning I don’t know, but I am all admiration.

          5. I shake my head. I am flabbergasted. Flummoxed. Nonplussed. Other old-fashioned words.

          6. We are either best friends or you have a restraining order against me that I don’t know about yet. I can’t quite tell…

      1. I don’t know if it is the official name, but it’s what I do. Better than periodic spazzing between fits of hoarding, I guess.

    1. Lupe, your husband is a hoot. I’m trying not to think of other things he might do.

      1. Thanks Jan, we have a lot of fun. He said the vacuum now counts as a sex toy.

        He suggested bringing a stake to my grandmother’s funeral just in case, because she has brushed off so many other near death experiences. And he bought a scrubbing brush attachment for his power drill, which is how we clean the bathroom… Those are the best stories lately off the top of my head.

        1. You are so lucky. I love my husband but…when I met him he lived in a hovel even though he made good money. He had plastic dishes. His bookcases were milk cartons like he was still in school. There were socks in the middle of the living room. He has improved to make me happy but it goes against his nature.

          1. I am so lucky. You have no idea. I grew up in filth, there is just no other way to describe it. And that gets into your brain in weird ways. I am still messy, but it is clean mess, if that makes sense.

            The only issue really is that I am a cottagecore/fairy/hobbit/Victorian maximalist and he is a modern/white walls/ clean lines minimalist. But I will break him eventually.

        2. Lupe, thanks for sharing that. My mind did go in the sex toy direction. Humor really helps with day to day drudgery.

          1. Sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me going.

            We had a deer give birth in our backyard last Friday and he gave me blow by blow updates. And then was very upset that the mother doe left her baby. For a country boy, he really doesn’t know how these things work. But it was very sweet. When he wasn’t planning venison for dinner…

          2. Wild veal? This from the man who tried to adopt the baby possum we found in the back yard. He is all talk.

          1. Or at least the link to buy it . I can get DH to do anything that involves a gadget.

            I once got him into the party room of a Chinese restaurant for a surprise birthday party without questions because he was playing with a new digital camera.

            And I’m convinced when his dad died he used gadget therapy to grieve.

            DH “I’m going to buy new phones without cords so we can walk as we talk”

            DD and me simultaneously “Nooooo!”

            DH “Why?”

            Me “Because you won’t put it back on the charger and the battery will run out and we won’t ever find a phone when we need it”

            DH “ok then I’m buying a new answering machine “

            DD and me “ ok? We guess ?”

      1. See? The Lupe ‘n’ Tammy show. Worth ALL the popcorn. (This week — special ALL-LUPE HOUR. Extra butter on the popcorn. 🙂

        1. It was very quiet at work today, because of all the smoke. And I had too much chocolate. I get into trouble when left unsupervised.

          1. That’s probably why you were assigned the avatar with a bandage over the lips. They say these things are random,but maybe the program is psychic.

  3. I found myself this weekend reining in my impulses, asking what I wanted to accomplish. It turns out that finishing some existing projects was more important than starting the shiny new one. Who knew?

    On Friday, I rented some time on a longarm and quilted one quilt. I was going to do two, but there were issues and I ended up making another appointment for this coming Friday afternoon. The first quilt is now in the binding stage. I’ll try to get it completed by next week.

    I also did some quilting on an ancient project, mostly to get it done and out of my sewing room. I don’t know why I picked the purple and turquoise to accompany the red and green on this tree skirt, but there you go. Done. Time to move on to something else!

  4. The smoke from the fires in Quebec has blown over to Ontario and we are now living in a hazy world smelling of smoke, where the advisory is not to go outside. It’s a weird time.

    1. Yes! I’ve been wondering how things might be in Ontario and Quebec these days. On the US east coast, we’ve got a small sample of your smoke, and it’s hard to deal with. This morning at around dawn the moon in our skies was pure orange-colored, which was eerie, especially on a normally clear early-summer day.

      Jenny, could you tell Mollie that the hearts are still in on-off mode? Also, when you’re editing Bob’s section of the book, can you add some dialogue from some female saying to the Bob-iest ninja-type character “I saw a zombie in the supermarket yesterday; his hair was perfect” ? Thank you.

    2. As Jinx says, we are getting a sample. I don’t usually have any kind of breathing issues, but this sucks.

    3. The smoke is really bad in upstate NY too. Hazy skies, dangerously bad air quality, and you can actually smell the smoke. It’s freaky, and not great for asthmatics (or anyone else, really).

      1. Not only do my eyes itch but now I have a stye and I’m having coffee with an ex on Friday that I haven’t seen for a gazillion years and I can’t see him with a stye, can I?? I’m trying to strike that balance between I Don’t Care and Eat Your Heart Out, which is the appropriate positioning for getting together a long-ago ex.

        1. Big bejeweled cat’s eye sunglasses?

          We ran into my husband’s ex unexpectedly last weekend and I was so grateful that I looked cute. It’s petty, but it was a bad break up. I only wish I was the kind of woman who wore a giant diamond so that I could put a possessive hand on his shoulder and wiggle it in the sunlight…

          1. Much as I’d like a pair of bejewelled cat sunglasses…I have three pairs of glasses and two pairs of sunglasses, all in bright and interesting multi-colours and…I still look like a bug. Glasses just have that effect on me.

    4. It’s gotten as far south as North Carolina, where we also have advisories not to go outside, and to set your car to recirculate your indoor air.

    5. We’re getting it in Kansas! I did not walk for two days, and finally caved and walked early this morning. We have had all-day Air Quality Alerts for three days, now. It doesn’t look bad, but it smells like smoke.

    6. Been dealing with smoke and poor air quality, too. And the orange sky thing. Grateful the temperatures are at least coolish so pup can still take mini trots.

      Feel awful for all the folks being evacuated. And all the wildlife. Hoping things get under control soon.

      1. Wear your n95 or kn95 masks when you go out. Those particulates are not good for you. Even though we don’t actually know each other I worry about you.

        1. So sweet, Thanks! I’m lucky in that hubby and I can stay mostly indoors with only quick walks for pup.

          Aside from the poor air quality, what’s eerie is the changes to sky view and light, and the quiet re birds and such. Usually, there’s a lot of bird chirping going on and chipmunks and squirrels running around. But now only see a few. Just crossing fingers they’ve found shelter from the air issues until things improve.

        2. Oh forgot to say that yes we do wear masks when outside. And hats help, too. Also put pup in her onesie, which helps keep particles off most of her fur:)

          1. I saw a dog in a sweater yesterday and couldn’t figure out why,but this would explain it.

  5. I’m trying to write between workmen and other distractions, plus dealing with long Covid. All I can say is that Bob doesn’t have to look very far if he wants to find a zombie.

    1. We are on vacation in France. I got the worst cold after about a week (the little boy who sat next to me on the plane was all over me, coughing the entire time. His mother kept saying He has allergies.). The cold seemed to have passed except for a cough and extreme fatigue. My friend insisted I test for COVID. Yes, we spent our week in Sarlat-La-Canéda isolating. We are having a good time but don’t have a lot of energy. How long tell we feel normal again?

      1. I’m sorry you weren’t able to go out and abut while in Sarlat. I have fond memories of their market from when my brother lived in the next town.

      2. We spent our September trip to France isolating (and being pretty sick), thanks to all the passengers on our commuter flight to Nantes who had “allergies.” Condolences! I was so mad about the rampant Covid denialism that I didn’t even speak French for months after.

      3. Many people who got the fatigue had it last for months. I’m seven weeks out and mine is only just starting to let up some. Good luck!

        1. Jessie — I am so happy to hear from you! Back when you were about to leave the US, I thought you were traveling alone. So glad that you are “we.”

          I came down with what the doctor called “travelers’ diarrhea” between the England and France stages of our 3-country trip in April-May. I didn’t completely recover for a month. While I buy into what you’re saying about false allergies, the doctor was also convincing: he says that with the COVID break everyone has been isolating with their local germs — which don’t make the locals sick anymore. However, those germs hit travelers hard.

          There’s also the weird weather working against healthy traveling. Friends were in Tuscany last month in the midst of rain so bad that there were major floods in nearby Emilia Romagna. The friends are back in the US with bad respiratory infections.

    2. Very sorry to hear about your long covid, Deb. It sounds like such a rotten miserable thing to have. Hope things improve rapidly for you.

  6. The smoke is visible here as well, and we have hazy skies and bad air quality too. I have been temporarily housing a neighbor’s two dogs after they had a house fire over the weekend. I like the dogs but they are a lot of work and the puppy (6 month old Blue Tick Hound…or something like that) is nearly driving me crazy. He’s full of energy and if he’s not constantly squeaking his squeaker toy, then he’s picking on the other dog, nipping at her legs and tail and then at my ankles. From what the owners say, he’s a herding dog and is trying to herd me! Thank goodness they are going to pick the dogs up today. My poor cat does not like dogs and is stressed out by their presence. I have been taking the other dog for long walks so she can escape the younger one for a bit. I tried to take Sparky (the youngster) on a walk, several times, but he doesn’t like the leash and as soon as we get a few feet from the house, he tries frantically to go back to safety. His owners said they haven’t had much luck with walking him either.

    1. I hope the owners have a big fenced in yard because an energetic puppy who won’t walk on a leash sounds like a recipe for disaster.

      1. Aunt Snack, unfortunately, they don’t but once they saw how much their dogs like my backyard, they said they want to fence in their yard.

      2. I have a herder dog – Toy Australian Shepherd – who is also high energy. It takes a lot of time to train her on a leash but it does happen. She also gets bored very easily and barks in her boredom. You have to learn fast ways to redirect them.

  7. I am working on my to-do list of things that require lifting and bending, because in six days they will tell me I can’t do that for a week after the second cataract surgery. I need to get the yard mowed, but it keeps raining just a few tenths every evening, leaving the grass too damp to mow the next morning. By afternoon, it’s too hot and humid for me to mow. At least the front lawn is no longer a foot tall. The back is a wilderness where birds and bunnies can disappear in the grass. I see other people mowing their wet grass, but my battery-powered mower just quits when enough cut grass lines the blade housing. It’s a real mess to try to clean it out, too. First world problems, I know. At least, we have had good moisture for the trees and other plants.

    1. Could you send some rain to Chicago? We had the driest May in decades. Yesterday I was so excited because we got a few drops, but it was barely enough to wet the sidewalk.

      1. I would gladly send these small rainfalls to you! It was pretty dry here, until these showers, though.

  8. My brother in France was impatiently waiting for me to read a book he suggested and I finally finished all 497 pages of it. I had to wait months to get it from the library and now that I’m finally somewhat ready to discuss it, he hasn’t responded to my email. I wonder if he is on vacation.

    1. Bummer. What was the book? Maybe it contains some hidden style suggestions that would let you annoy him until he responds.

      1. I’ve been his baby sister for 66 years. I don’t need any help annoying him. I also am in no hurry to discuss the book, so I think I’ll wait until he brings it up. He and I process conflict in totally opposite ways, which he seems to have forgotten, so I am in no hurry to tell him that I fail to see how I can implement what it endorses.
        The book is The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate. If I don’t hear from him in another week, I’ll try his other email address.I’m never quite sure which one he checks more often.

  9. I’ve been getting a lot of work done, just not on what I was supposed to do (manuscript revisions from my editor), and I’m remarkably (for me) chill about it. Helps that the Monday deadline is self-imposed, and I actually have until the end of the month to turn them in, and the things I’m doing are more tangible than writing stuff, and give me a feeling of accomplishment, which is hard to get from projects that are as long as “write a novel.”

    Smoke is nearing me, but I seem to be near enough to the east coast that the wind currents are protecting me a bit. Just looked at the air quality index map, and west of me the numbers are over 100 (that’s when it gets bad), but my area is in the 80s. Of course, they were under 40 yesterday, so it’s definitely worsening.

  10. Still trying to memorize lines, but it’s been less than a week and it takes me awhile. I note the two people who have done the show before are trying to be off book. Show-offs 😛

    I finished the crocheted map of the world I’m making for a friend, but I annoyingly can’t post it online since her birthday’s not until August and she’ll see it. I’m waiting for it to block and I have to figure out how to hang the dang thing.

    I’m taking out part of the dress I’m crocheting and redoing it OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND MAKING MYSELF CRAZY. I started crocheting little daisies for my Halloween costume. The knitted maze scarf I’m trying to do went a little better recently.

  11. My therapist requested that I journal in some fashion. I already write a lot so I decided to make video journal entries. My methods are primitive but they work for me. She also asked that I write my food down – so far so good.

    Writing with my accountability partner is working well. I am going to write 500 words when I finish this comment.

    The exterminator was here yesterday. Will be coming every other month for a year. No more roaches (they weren’t a big problem but I don’t want them to become one). Termite inspector is coming Thursday.

    Critique went well last night. And I enjoyed it more than usual. Part of that was due to turning the volume off on the reading of someone whose memoir is triggering me.

    I have decided to pursue collaging to busy my mind and hands instead of eating between meals. Will try to link the instagram pic of the first simple thing I did.

        1. Jan – I was married to an artist who made amazing collages. He used wallpaper sample books. He would cut out shapes – not pictures within the designs – and put them on paper. The end result would be amazing. My favorite was Don Quixote jousting at windmills.
          I will never be as good as he was but when I’ve done a few for practice, I might try a scene from a favorite book.

  12. A week ago I was leaving work and noticed a large plume of smoke as I was driving out of the parking lot. The wind was blowing it away from my direction, but I could still smell it.

    It was a mulch fire at a recycling facility, and it is still burning a week later. According to the state air quality officials here in Arizona, the smoke does not rise to hazard levels. As I drive into work each morning, the smell gets stronger as I approach the site.

    I’m calling shenanigans on this mess. This is nothing like the fires in Canada, but it can’t be good to be inhaling this garbage.

  13. A week ago, Sunday morning during the Memorial Day weekend our son (who lives with us after a divorce) suffered a mild stroke. He woke early not feeling well and decided to call 911 instead of waking us and not to scare us. Imagine my surprise when I raised the blinds and saw the entourage of emergency vehicles outside the window. Ambulance, EMT, fire and police, our town is quick. The dispatcher stayed on the line with him till they arrived. After a couple of days in the hospital he was home using a walker. His right side is affected but he is expected to make a full recovery. They told him he has to give up potatoes, pasta, starches and carbs and fruit, all the good stuff. So that is where we are at trying to come up with alternatives. Tonight we are going to try brown rice. I’m also looking at cookbooks and started with Weight Watchers, a gluten free book and a heart healthy one.

    We’ve always counted on Murphey’s Law to guide us through life, and it hasn’t let us down. A couple of months ago he was working at a hospital when a fire broke out and everyone was evacuated. Last week he had an appointment with a new primary at the VA on the third floor when they had a fire drill. A drill where he could take an elevator down with his walker to the main floor and wait it out.

    Working Wednesday, I just have to pace myself and it will be fine.

    1. Maybe get a spiralizer for zucchini and carrot noodles? When my dad went gluten free he liked those with spaghetti sauce. That and neat balls, shredded zucchini meat balls, to cut the animal fats. Oh, and eggplant. Both my dad and my husband will eat eggplant. I put it in the air fryer for faux parmesan, or chop it up in a rice dish with feta on top, greek style.

      1. You just reminded me we had a spiralizer many years ago and that went the way in the great gadget cleanout.

    2. When I had to cut my carbs, I cooked up brown rice (I like short grain) and steel cut oats in advance and keep them in the refrigerator. That way I can heat up a half cup (1 portion) at a time and not wait 30-40 minutes for it to cook. But looking in a gluten free cookbook won’t help that much. Gluten is the protein in grain and what you are trying to limit are simple carbs. I suggest diabetic cookbooks instead of gluten free.

      1. Diabetic cookbooks – gotcha! I have to go to the library and pick up the umptenine books that are waiting. I’ll glean what I can and then check the diatbetic ones.

    3. Mary, I hope your son is okay. There are some great pastas now made from things like brown rice, lentils, peas and beans etc. I eat some of them just because I like them!

      1. Last night we had Swedish meatballs (homemade pre stroke) over brown rice with sauteed vegetables (zucchini, onions, summer squash and tomatoes).

        We just came back from a neurologist’s visit in Boston and had to leave early to get there by 8:20 and stopped at an IHOP on the way home. Enough said! We’re doing the best we can.

        1. You are still one meal ahead of how you had been eating. The trick is to concentrate on your progress for the day or week overall rather than the time you slipped off the wagon. You have to pace yourself for a marathon because you want these new habits to stick. And it helps if you have a doctor you don’t want to disappoint. My doctor had a lot more faith in my ability to change my health than I did so I could sometimes talk myself into crawling back towards austerity because I didn’t want to disillusion her.

  14. Watching sun progression in the gardens. What was supposed to be a good spot with dabbled sunlight on my favourite hosta is not. Planting more plants into new to me planters. Definitely changing the back garden bed. More grass to dig up. Hopefully can save the plant.

  15. Let me heave a heavy sigh. The dishes are piling up at the deep sink. I don’t wanna wash dishes! I’ve bought beaucoups of paper plates and bowls, even though they’re less friendly to the environment, and still the dishes accumulate. I have no valid reasons for this attitude, just excuses.

    The basement is cold. It mostly is, except for the owner’s suite, which has a space heater and stays around 72F +/- 2F. (This is despite being in the 80s outside – the basement is not air conditioned.) Anyway, I could tolerate that except I’m (nearly always) wearing my house robe. The robe has long sleeves that don’t stay rolled up, so they end up in the dish water. I actually bought a “Roll-up over-the-sink drying rack” rather than a regular dish rack, because washing clothes causes the deep sinks to fill to near the top.

    See? Excuses, not reasons. Also, I’m lazy. Besides, I have more Rubbermaid containers if I let the dirty ones soak for another week.

    Now that I’ve shamed myself, I’m going to get dressed, including a short-sleeved shirt, and do the darned dishes. Probably today.


  16. I’m tired. Weekend with the documentary-people here was fun, but draining.

    Trying to work on 4 different mosaic-pieces, but keep getting stuck in that I actually need more mosaic, but the craft supply store where I buy them don’t have them in stock right now, and they are the only ones(!) selling the dang stuff, it seems. Argh.

    Been doing research on my other project: sew plushies. I signed up for an email-course at Funky Friends Factory, and it’s all interesting. However, what I’m now worrying about is that the lady making the patterns says you shouldn’t cut around the pattern “like you do with clothing”, but instead transfer the pattern to the fabric with a marker or similar. Cutting around the pattern might make the plushies wonky. This makes me sad, because I can cut around a pattern-cutout in card or cardboard (provided someone helps me getting the pattern on there and cut the card/cardboard for me), BUT I can not draw on fabric and cut it out afterwards. So I’m now wondering if this goes for all kinds of soft toys, or just her patterns in particular. Does anybody know?

    Went to the city centre with MIL today. Found a new skirt and a t-shirt. Need LOTS of new clothes actually since 95 % of my wardrobe is worn-out stuff from 2016-2017, but having a hard time finding things I like. I wanna put on clothes that make me feel pretty/sexy/attractive/confident, but not sure where to find it. Online-shopping is hard when you can’t see the freaking pictures. Sigh.

    Only technically one day left to Friday and phone-appointment with psychiatrist. Probably shouldn’t pin too much hope on him and/or medication, but still finding myself sort of counting the minutes ’til I can get help. Hope it’ll all work out.

    1. Online shopping is hard even when you can see the pictures. There is no substitute for trying something on. I used to go shopping with my foster brother who is partially color blind. Unfortunately, since he and I would tease each other constantly, he didn’t trust me to tell him the truth. I am sure that it is much easier now that he has a wife and kids. And I’m glad you have your MIL.

    2. Clothing is so hard. I often find myself hating my entire work appropriate wardrobe. Anymore, I either thrift everything, or scour the resale sites for things I can’t afford otherwise. I have expensive tastes. And once I find a brand I like that I trust the fit of, I am very loyal.

      And I am trying to ascribe to the Kondo method of getting rid of anything that doesn’t make me happy to wear. I am trying to end up with a wardrobe that is all easy to wear together.

  17. I forgot! I wanted to say that Lupe and Tammy made my day. I’m Swedish but have no idea what Swedish Death Cleaning is. It’s probably not part of my genetics anyway.

    1. Is it the process of thinking through the mountain of possessions that build up in a long life and dealing with them before you up and die, so your offspring or whoever has to clean up everything? I’ve read about this but my memory is unclear — it that Swedish or Japanese? Could be either, I guess….

  18. I did 3.5 hours in the garden on Sunday which rendered the front acceptable to leave alone for another couple weeks. Then this morning I pulled out a volunteer sunflower, which had come up in a good place but someone or something snipped off the bud before it could properly bloom (I expect it was either a squirrel or a parrot, they both like to eat the buds), and the last of the blue flax, which tidied it up even more. I *could* put in some time on it this Saturday, but would rather not because I have pre-publication proof to do for my next release and it’s a full-length novel i.e. a full day’s work.

    Aside from that I can report very little beyond Day Job. Still gestating that new chapter for the novel-in-progress. We have social things each of the next three weekends so I may not get back to the book in a serious way till first weekend in July.

  19. The smoke is bad here in northeastern Pennsylvania. Pixie gets her walk early in the morning. I had to water plants and start trimming my azalea today but was in the house with the doors and windows shut by 9 AM. It’s supposed to start clearing later tomorrow.

    The Election Board here certified the primary on Monday, not without some delays in a long and intense process. Since I’m secretary, my work continues. I’ve 24 pages of votes and minutes to transcribe. I want to finish that up by Sunday. It’s just chipping away at it all every day.

    Our DA, a Republican, named Sam Sanguedolce, was written in by many people on the Democratic side. Amazingly, hundreds of people spelled his name correctly. Many did not. I think someone said there were 97 variations of his name. One takes one’s simple amusements where one can.

    1. Well, if my name meant Bloodsweet,I might play around with it,too. Mosquito Bait,perhaps.

  20. Comment
    Grey Wolf6/8/2023, 12:19:22 AM
    Random comment that could’ve been a blog, but isn’t:

    In the past couple of days, Book 4’s word count has passed Book 3’s. Book 4’s chapter count has not yet passed Book 3’s, however, so the average chapter length is up.

    So, it’ll be lengthier, but possibly also not lengthier.

    Total words will cross 2,000,000 either late in Book 4 or early in Book 5.

    – from the comment section following book 4 of Variation on a Theme
    Four books telling a single story. Even Lord of the Rings wasn’t this wordy. And yet, I’m still reading it. It’s a soap opera.

  21. I started a new kids’ book and was really unsure about it, but I have a wonderful crit group who loved what I showed them, so am pressing ahead.

    And today I did a school visit – not a big group, round about 30 kids from Grades 4,5 &6. They were such fun, and I came away feeling as if I was a brilliant entertainer! Then had lunch with an old friend who is also a writer, and I sang the praises of online crit groups – especially for people who live in small towns and hardly ever get the chance to talk to other writers – until he swore he was going to find one.

  22. Yesterday was my birthday! I had an almond croissant, got a massage, took a nap, had a nice lunch with my parents, then went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in a local theater. A pleasure to see it on a big screen again. Then I went to a friend’s house and drank a bit too much Irish Whiskey.

  23. Trying to write a short speech for DD’s commitment ceremony and put together a photo display of them from infancy onward …

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