Working Wednesday, October 25, 2023

This week I worked on the end of Rocky Start and the beginning of Very Nice Funerals, trying to hit the sweet spot on the Max/Rose romance while keeping the plot escalating. I am grossly behind on Rocky Start and Bob’s patience is wearing thin (it’s been two months since he sent me his completed draft and we all know how I am about finishing things) but I think the stuff we’ve talked about since then is making both books more interesting. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Also this week, I’m reading crochet patterns for a granny square CAL because granny squares are easy and so am I. I particularly liked one of the bags, so I made a small one (fingering weight yarn) that I could hang on the picture over my bed to keep an emergency inhaler in. Because I am a nerd.

What did you work on this week?

97 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, October 25, 2023

  1. I completed my annual enrollment for insurance – meh.

    I also got a good start on discovery writing for the novel / novella I will work on for NANOWRIMO.

    Today is laundry day & I am still working on making my house more user friendly & getting my finances more friendly towards buying a house.

    What’s missing from this picture? Fun. I need to find some fun things to do.

  2. I’m working on prepping the house, garden, and yard for yet another upstate NY winter. Just finished having my driveway redone for the second time this summer (don’t ask…please buy books). We’re having some unusually nice weather for the next couple of days so I’m hoping to finish putting the garden to bed.

    On the writing front, I had a great chat with my agent Elaine yesterday (I love my agent) and we brainstormed ways to fix the magical realism novel I’ve been stop-start working on for months. It was missing tension and needed higher stakes, and she came up with some ideas that will help that, hopefully. My brain doesn’t work the way it did before long Covid, so having another point of view is really helpful.

    I’m also prepping for the online tarot class I’m giving Friday night, breaking in a new doctor Friday morning, and trying to write a ritual for our Samhain ritual this Sunday. (It should be Tuesday, but we have lives.)

    Mostly I just want to sit on the floor and rock back and forth, because I’m so overwhelmed, but I’ll just push through and do what I can. But Jenny, you have ALL my sympathy.

      1. I have been REALLY lucky with her. It took us a few years to get the kinks out of our communicating, but since then she has been nothing but a blessing. I thank my lucky stars for her all the time.

    1. Sending strengthening, fortifying hugs to keep you company while sitting and rocking. You’ve got this!

    2. Sometimes I like that. Sometimes you have to sit and stare and rock through them. On the blessing side you’re getting stuff done anyway.

  3. I worked on my garden. I harvested and ate lettuce and jalapeños. I cleaned out four of the gardens and used a little bleach to kill green slimes. The poblano plant and several jalapeño plants are in bloom. The Anaheim pepper plants haven’t germinated yet. New lettuce plants have already germinated. I’m anticipating red and yellow cherry tomatoes in November, or possibly December. 🙂

    I worked on my kitchen. As limited as my electrical power is (more than one appliance trips the breaker), I’ve still managed to cook stews, chili, omelets, and soups. Omelets are especially desirable in that a bunch of stuff that might be prepared separately in different appliances end up in just one. This morning I ate a chili-cheese-pepper omelet (two jumbo eggs). 🙂

    I worked on my book/story files. In a number of cases, novels that I seldom read were archived in self-extracting zip files (RAR, actually). I still own them, but now they take up a deal less space. I set a number of Kindle “Collections.” Anything that makes finding a book easier is good. 🙂

    I worked on my diet. Identifying the things I need to consume in smaller quantities and the things that I don’t. Recent meals have resulted in a loss of more than two pounds this past week. 🙂

  4. I’ve had a lot of appointments this week. Or a lot for me anyway. Three medical and one home repair. They feel like a lot of work, but again, that’s just me.

    Today is the plumber. I’d had a great plumber for years, but he’s not in business anymore. So I’m trying a new company.

    Then I’ve only got one appointment left in Friday morning.

      1. Absolutely, yesterday we trekked down to the Cape (Cod) for my husband to have cataract surgery. That was a three-and-a-half-hour drive round trip. Thanks to Covid I was not permitted to wait in the waiting room and had to find myself with something to do. Googling I noticed the Sandwich library was a 5-minute drive away. That would have been one stop if I hadn’t noticed a little mall on the route and found myself in the dollar store. The next time when we go back for his second eye surgery, I’ll do a little bit more exploring. Everything is OK, I’m just not used to see him in a wheelchair. But the driving was so exhausting.

    1. Feeling you on the too-many-appointments-in-one-go-thing. Hang in there, you’ll be on the other side of it soon!

    2. I concur, it’s not just you. This week, Tues through Thurs, I’ve had/will have 3 medical appts, a haircut, and 2 business/marketing zoom meetings. It requires a lot of “peopling” energy, and by Friday, I might be joining Deb, in a ball on the floor.

  5. Appointment at the Apple Store, hopefully all my notes are there somewhere, not deleted. And researching how to overwinter perennials.

    1. The Apple technician got all my notes back. So very thankful and extremely happy. G-daughter’s birthday/Christmas list is back. Birthday is end of month. My gardening notes too. Happiness Wednesday. Yeah!

  6. Last year my sister and I planned a vacation in the Netherlands and decided to make it a bicycling vacation. I had not been on a bike since my daughter was small, so maybe 10-15 years, and even then had only ridden 2 or 3 miles at a time. I bought a new bike and started riding and realized that I love it! We rented electric bikes, just in case we needed an extra push (which I definitely did) and biked from Rotterdam to Bruge over 4 days and had a wonderful time.

    This spring I signed up for a 25 mile bike tour on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The tour is this Saturday. I have not been biking this summer like I did last summer (it has been miserably hot) and the furthest that I have ridden this summer was 15 miles. So, last Thursday I did my first 20 mile ride, it went well, and this afternoon I will ride 22 miles, so I think I am prepared. I’m super slow and probably look like Mr. Bean, but I love it and don’t care if I look silly.

    I also took a precious metal clay (PMC) class. PMC is metal dust mixed in with some type of binder agent. You manipulate it somewhat like regular clay (you can’t touch it too much because it dries out and cracks) and then fire it in a kiln and end up with beautiful hand made jewelry.

    1. PMC is on my list of things to play with in retirement. 🙂 I remember when it first showed up in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog. There may have been squealing.

    2. Makes me so happy to read that you’ve fallen in love with biking! It’s a joy to hear other people find their happies. If I’d known you were here in the country last year I’d invited you for tea! 🙂
      I’ve also been meaning to try that particular kind of clay, but haven’t taken the step. Sounds lovely though.
      Good luck Saturday!

      1. I would have loved to stop by for tea!

        I love the classes because my teacher is great and makes sure your pieces work well. I have bought a kiln and am going to work on my own soon, if I can get my craft room clean enough to have a surface on which I can work. 🙂

    3. I like pmc. You can also fire it with a torch at home if you don’t have access to a kiln. The cost is a little intimidating and the shrinkage rate takes a bit to figure out, but it’s really user friendly and versatile.

      1. I have made things with the torch, and it works very well. I found that smoothing the final product works best if done before firing. I used a mold to form the pendant I made, which was easier than trying to shape the clay.

  7. I started writing a new book this week. I’ve been plotting it off an on all summer, but not too vigorously. But I was at a writers conference this past weekend and all attendees get a pitch session with an agent/editor as part of the package. So just for fun, and with no expectations, I pitched my unwritten story.

    The agent loved it. I mean GUSHED about it. Then I had to tell her it wasn’t written yet. She says she’ll wait. I really hope she means it, because now I’m committed to writing the damn thing.

  8. I AM working again, finally, on my own projects and that feels wonderful. I have a week off from my day job and while I am procrastinating around some of the big projects, I am making things.

    I painted all of the brimmed felt hats I had laying around for this purpose (better late than never) and will work on photographing and listing them to my Etsy shop. This morning I painted a pair of baby overalls with a blue crescent moon and constellations. Next I am working on the felted wool beret hats that I thrifted all year. I am looking for winter/holiday motifs, so please suggest away. Lots of moons and stars and mushrooms this year, plus I just finished some holly.

    I wish I could just keep on like this, mornings in my studio, afternoons spent on house work and making big pots of soup, listening to audiobooks. Maybe some day.

      1. I don’t know, but I would like the chance to try. I didn’t handle lockdown well, but I don’t think that is a good example. Too much white noise in my brain.

        I did pretty well when I worked part time. As long as I set a schedule and stick to it, I am ok. Morning for studio, afternoon for chores, depending on the season. Also, I get some unholy delight from scratching things off my to do list.

    1. You make hats? Wow! Wish I could see them, but have no doubt they’re awesome. Now I know who to go to if I need a hat 🙂 Have borrowed my dad’s and my brother’s fedoras for live-performances a couple of times. 🙂 I should get one of my own.
      I second Jan’s comment – you’ll get there someday! Soup and audiobooks, ahoy! Lupe’s coming!

      1. I used to have a black fedora, as my winter hat. Loved it (I felt like a Woman of Mystery), but lost it in a house move.

        1. Buttons! I need to use up some buttons, having recently found a jar of my great-aunt’s to add to my great-grandmother’s and one of my grandmother’s. More than three quarts of antique buttons–what to do???

          That is a fabulous mushroom, and should surely get more outings than just Halloween.

          1. Thanks! I figured that I should have a mushroom in my costume closet. It’s one of those things that is an instant costume by itself. I can wear whatever I want underneath it.

    2. Painted hats? Go away! I don’t need more ideas for things to make! I have enough projects lined up to last about ten years if I work steadily.

      Winter motifs? How about birds: chickadees, cardinals, titmice. Polar bears. Who aren’t birds, but.

      1. Thanks! I will put them on my list. I like the fun of embroidery, but don’t have the patience, so I doubt on hats and jean jackets.

  9. We are getting closer to having the living room “finished” for winter, which quite rudely showed up 2 weeks early. We are putting up the chair rail, final pieces of baseboard, and a couple pieces of quarter round. We want to get the corner where the very heavy and awkward Hoosier cabinet lives finished completely so we can put it back and not move it for a while.

    My manager is very sick so I’m working extra days this week and might have to work on Saturday.

    Otherwise, I’m cleaning up the house and back to the day job next week.

  10. I’m back from attending my youngest son’s 50th Birthday party in Phoenix. His dad, who has pretty much been absent from his son’s lives, once they left home, was there EVERY DAY with his significant other! I was not prepared for that, and I will carefully check on that possibility any time I visit again. I thought I would have to see him at one event, only. The party was fun, and the weather was very nice. It was good to be back in the desert for awhile. My grandchildren were understandably reticent and stirred up, having to adjust to new people. Not fun.

    It’s raining all week, and we needed it, so I’m not complaining, but I do have a lot of yard work to do before it goes below freezing in five days. It’s good to be back home, and back to the warmth of this group!

    1. Sounds like you’ve been through a classic romcom situation that is not nearly so likely to bring a HEA when it happens in real life!

      Rain is at least more tolerable when it’s needed.

    2. Tough times. Sounds like belly-ache-inducing interactions. Sending you hugs! Happy you’re back with us again <3

      1. Thank you all. And Shass for the hugs. It’s just very uncomfortable, and I feel bad being ungracious, but the man does not deserve any more of my attention.

  11. I’m struggling to actually finish things this week. My 9-5 has been packed with meetings the last month or so — mostly necessary as we try to get a project on track, but until that’s accomplished it feels like NO progress. In the meantime I’m trying to get my winter space re-established at home. My partner and I live in two studio apartments with a total of a little under 800 square feet (I related a little too much to Liz & Vince’s living arrangements), bedroom/kitchen in one and living room/office in the other. I basically need to empty the living room/office apartment and set it up again so I can have my home office back. But there’s not really any place to put the stuff in the meantime and the dumpster is three stories down… so any time I walk in I’m immediately overwhelmed.

    I’ll get there. Probably. Hopefully soon. But this week? Eesh.

    1. I’m merely intending to rearrange my laundry room/bathroom/closet which is probably about 150 sf. No dumpster will be involved. Go, you!

    2. Small chunks. I try to move one bag of stuff when I am already making a trip. That way I don’t wear myself out on the stairs.

  12. I’m working at cleaning up my secondary email account. It was my only one until I got a new iPhone last spring. I have unsubscribed to many sites. I started with 19000 emails last week and am down to almost half.

    Our kitchen reno started this week and I’m still organizing the main floor so we can cook, store basic supplies, throw out garbage, etc. Hopefully, the work proceeds on schedule and out new kitchen is finished at the end of Nov.

  13. I’m organizing the shipping of the gift packages from the Memorial Weekend for my friend to people who couldn’t make it. Also dealing with his (estranged) three siblings about some items that he has that belonged to their mother. Is taking all my patience to hear their potshots about my friend and also listen to comments like: “Can you believe he would be estranged with us over a purse??” and not say, dryly: “No, I can’t believe that.” There are obviously no mirrors in their homes.

    1. Wow. That is a lot. Shipping can be a pain and it is lovely that you took that on for your friend.

      Family is a weird thing. No one treats you like shit like family, and then shames you when you call them on it. I have never liked those Family signs and picture frames etc. My husband is the person who is there for me. The rest of my birth family just think they are when it’s convenient.

      Sorry, that is bitter. Maybe I will give everyone in my extended family mirrors for Christmas…

  14. in my blog post Woman at Work IV I share that the dotter is a little bit goth (as in “water is a little wet”), with pictures. Since that post, she decided to Paint It Black – the kitchen, that is. So, the post is updated with more pictures.

      1. I know, right? It certainly shows off her huge milk glass collection. I don’t know about the cabinets, but I won’t be surprised if the outsides turn flat black and the insides glare white.

    1. Is it my lurid imagination, or do the kitchen knives actually resemble a skeletal six-fingered hand?

      Has she considered skeleton flamingos? I have seen many in stores, but none actually in yards. 🙁

      1. Black kitchen flooring coming soon?
        The house is remarkably light for all that goth—I guess it’s a mix of the windows and the white skeletons.

        I’m also trying to imagine what your grandkids’ friends think …

      2. The knife stand arrangement is hand-like, but the knife handles are just plain. Not bone-ish. I expect a skeletal flamingo any day, but there isn’t one yet.

        1. Do let us know if/when flamingos appear. There should be a flock! (Carrying pumpkins in their beaks?)

          1. A murder of crows, A flamboyance of flamingos. I try to work flamboyance and murders into conversations. I have a fake flamboyance ,a light up peacock and a metal vulture on my front porch. Surprisingly we do not have an HOA.

      1. I made the mistake of telling her to decorate any way she wanted. I expected dark blue and mauve walls – the previous house had those. I will not complain. The basement is white.

      2. I have, not candlesticks, but bookends, made from real turkey legs, from a turkey my grandfather shot before I was born. They made my grandmother shudder (“So ugly!” she would say) but she kept them in the living room because she loved him. They fascinated me as a child because they were So Real, and they are in my living room now.

  15. I’ve been possibly doing too much posting online and writing emails as I recover from my recent chores push and the autumn virus. As I convalesce, I’ve been avoiding going out, so I’m looking at a grocery trip soon, perhaps tomorrow. I’ve also been catching up on delayed household tasks like laundry and unloading/loading the dishwasher. I’ll see if I can convince myself to get back to some deskwork today as well. Nothing left is precisely short-fuze, but it can’t be left forever either.

  16. I started a new story, and I just love starting new stories. This one’s going to be short, novella-sized, not a full novel, a secret project in case I don’t get it done in time, so there are no expectations. It’s the first time writing has been FUN in a long time. Zipping through it. (Fingers crossed I didn’t just jinx myself.)

    And I also played with fabric on Sunday for the first time in too long. Which may (or may not) have something to do with writing feeling fun again. Filling the well, and all that.

  17. I worked on the backyard on Saturday.

    Worked on novella-in-progress, which looks like being a 14-chapter piece; up to chapter 12.

    Worked on keeping my Day Job inbox as clear as possible while not actively screaming at any of the people who are not as attentive to their part of the job as they should be.

    Worked on not freaking out about my aged mother who, after two previous trips to ER within past 2 weeks, was taken again at my sibling’s instigation yesterday, was admitted, and is being treated for whooping cough.

    Get your vaccines & boosters, folks.

    1. That sounds extremely stressful. Take care of yourself, too. I had made that trip many times, in days past.

      1. She’s back home and feeling better (with nebulizer & a ton o’ meds), and sibling will be instigating a checkup for Dad as well. This is basically why DH & I plan to move across country in the fairly near future, 80+ parents are a roller coaster.

    2. I feel your pain. My aged mom went from ER to hospital room three weeks ago, with broken ankle, and there they found more things ailing her fragile body. It is indeed hard to keep from freaking out. Stay strong. Somehow it will work out.

  18. Working on reducing anxiety with varying results. Binge-watching Swedish version of “Come Dine With Me”, which I discovered had got a new season. I love this show. It’s so easy to watch.
    Still busy knitting on the loom: A cat-plushie and a shawl in progress, the latter being the Oct/Nov loom-along in the Ravelry loom-knitters section. Slow going.
    I needed a place to store the pieces of one of my build-your-own-loom-kits, so I knitted a pouch. I couldn’t find a pattern for a pouch, so I kinda made one up. I loved the spiral on the Spiral Hat that was the Sept/Oct loom-along so much that I made the pouch a spiral pouch as well. Spirals = happy! Have 3 more kits that need a place to be stored, so might experiment with other ways of knitting pouches or bags.
    Lots of medical appointments lately. Can barely eat and have lost a ton of weight since June, approaching underweight so it’s a bit scary. If all the bloodwork and other tests don’t show anything, it’ll mean gastroscopy-time soon. Bleh. 🙁 Only upside of this mess is that a breast-reduction might not have to happen as things look now. Small blessing.

    1. Take care of yourself, please.
      (I don’t know why you were in moderation, you’ve been here forever, so maybe it was three links? Anyway, sorry it took me so long to check.)

      1. Thank you <3 I'm trying!
        Maybe it held me in moderation because I posted links? I haven't done that much before, perhaps that's what it was upset about. It's okay, you've got life happening. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Mary Anne! I’m very happy the pouch turned out well. You never know when you need a pouch or gift-bag! And now I know how to make one! Learning new things is amazing. 🙂

  19. Unpacked from the Car Trip of Coastal California; in addition to suitcases, this means clearing the backseat of succulents procured from a tucked-away nursery in the fog belt and a sweet Marie Pavie rose in bloom, plus a passel of books from the used book shops of several libraries and vintage shops. Yes, it was a good trip, and possibly a warmup for a heritage rose tour of Sweden and Norway next year. Let the fall festivities commence!

  20. Today I go for a check up with my surgeon, and I’m hoping to get the brace off my knee. I find it truly interferes with my sleep among other things I would love to be able to bend my knee again. After that, I will be babysitting I have a seven-year-old and a three-year-old grandson who come to my house Monday through Friday. This week I also had them on Sunday so that their parents could go see legend of the flower moon. They are fun but very inventive when it comes to games that required me to move around.
    I have an audition to tape, which is a pure pleasure. At some point, I hope to get back to editing. Happy Wednesday everyone

  21. Our sweet kitty cat died unexpectedly ten days ago and I’m still cleaning up/giving away her things. We had her for 11ish years and she acquired a lot of stuff and left a lot of fur and furball messes over the years.

    In happier projects, a friend hosted a craft supply exchange party last weekend with anything left over going to some organization that takes donated craft supplies and resells them to teachers on the cheap. I got a couple closets cleaned out for that event and have been slowly sorting out the leftover chaos.

    Our daughter starts a new job tomorrow (yay! It took forever for her to find something!), so we’ve been getting work clothes for her this week and last.

    Still plugging away at the WIP. I spent time today looking at the Google results for “futuristic cocktail dress” for inspiration, and brainstormed with ChatGPT about it. Lots of reservations about how AIs are being trained—there’s no excuse for not compensating people whose intellectual property is being used, and making it opt-in—but I find ChatGPT a delightful brainstorming partner. Can’t indulge too often or I would spend all my time “researching.”

    1. Writing week for the day job, editing for daughter’s thesis, and texting with son about the speaker race and Trump. (That Georgia prosecutor knows what she is doing and that NY judge is getting ever closer to locking him up.)

      I asked DS how his presentation for next week’s conference was coming and he he said todays dry run went “really well”. This is my child who always says things were meh or ok he guesses or not too bad. It’s a good thing I was sitting down.

    2. So sorry for your loss. Those kitty-shaped holes in our hearts really do ache.
      Yay for the job for your daughter! 🙂

  22. Two appointments and one meeting day. Doctor appointment went very well and the meeting had lots of drama. I’m so over meeting drama.

  23. I’ve been off work sick yet again, for a bit over three weeks this time, and have mostly been listening and compulsively re-listening to the Murderbot diaries for comfort. At this point I am very much over being unwell and am also probably running out of sick leave. On one of my upright days I made san choi bao, ran out of lettuce leaves, and used the extra filling to make gyoza. So that was one nice thing I actually accomplished. Following along with everyone’s adventures here is comforting too.

  24. I need to go back and read what everyone else worked on, but first I’ll share my items…

    I went to New Orleans last week/weekend for a conference. I gave a presentation, ate beignets at Cafe du Monde, and watched the Krewe of Boo Halloween parade. (I still need to post to IG some of the pictures and video I took.) I also caught Covid. So, I’ve been fighting that off this week. I’m grateful that it has been mild.

    I caught up on email. Attended meetings. Slept a lot. Drank lots of liquids. Watched “Bake Off – the Professionals” season 7. I made fleece scarves and tonight I quilted a quilt for a customer. Again, photos on IG to come. Oh, and I booked surgery for my torn rotator cuff (left) and filed FMLA paperwork.

    Finally, I’ve petted and snorgled the cat who is refusing to eat and is drinking a lot of water. We’ve seen this before. She’s likely struggling with a bladder stone passing and/or her kidney disease. She’s what is stressing me out the most because at her age (21.5 years old), it’s really just a matter of time before we lose her.

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