Working Wednesday

So it’s a new year and Mollie and Bob are all about marketing and PR. Up until a couple of months ago, my PR consisted of you guys. This blog was about all I did, and I’m not exactly giving you the hard sell. You come through anyway because you’re good people, but obviously I need to do more. So I went back to Facebook a couple of months ago and I had a nice little group on there going. And then Mollie resurrected my author page there and suddenly . . . there are a lot of people there. They’re all great, but I already felt like I was cheating on you with the first Facebook group and now all of a sudden I’m cheating on them with the author page . . .

Who knew PR came with so much guilt?

What did you work on this week?

107 thoughts on “Working Wednesday

  1. Finally cleaning the marching band uniforms from Fall football season and getting it ready for next marching band season, setting up uniform fitting in Feb for 8th graders coming to band next year. Uniform mom’s job is never done.

  2. Ha! It’s just one more place to stalk you. I’m just working on how to get the chocolate through the screen…

    I’m not great at promo. Great at posting cute cat pictures, which I consider sort of a benign way to remind people I exist, but talking up the books? Not so good. I do a burst when a book comes out, and then sort of forget about it, which isn’t good. But I did do a live Instagram last night with the owner of a witchcraft store (so much fun) and this morning I’m taping a podcast to talk about my most recent nonfiction book. It does come out until September, so uh, okay.

    Could I borrow Mollie and Bob to work on my promo?

  3. My oldest has me working on watching the last season of Game of Thrones, which is interfering with getting other things done, but who am I to complain?

  4. Finally handed back the keys to my old house! My new house (I rent, so moving is almost never my choice) is, fortunately, not sliding down the hill to the creek, as there are boxes piled high EVERYWHERE, mostly full of books or fabric. The yarn and loom is in a separate small studio.

    The cats think this is great – lots of towers to climb/hide/look down on everyone. Walking sideways around the house to squeeze between boxes is the next thing to resolve, as well as moving books from the table to bookshelves. I may need to buy another bookcase – nah, who am I kidding, I do need to buy another bookcase AND offload books I don’t want any more.

    Oh, and this afternoon I was contacted about a possible six month contract – yay! Money to pay the rent!

    1. Ah, Anne, we also handed in the keys to our old, very beloved, flat today.
      Very strange feeling to wander through the empty flat, looking almost virginal again, waiting for other people to love and love in.
      In the end, we didn’t have enough rooms.
      We still have to finish clearing out the cellar store room, but I aleady feel a bit lighter because most of our stuff is now moved.
      Boxes are also piled very high in our new abode, albeit without the cats.
      Today I did what I wouldn’t have believed possible: threw away books. Pressure does this to you, sigh.
      I’ll keep on purging stuff AND books – the next move will be in 4 years time and I don’t want to spend another two months stressed by getting everything done, not finding anything, just by having too much stuff stored away, accumulating dust.

      1. That said, I bought two books today and loaned one, but since those are e-boks and the loaned one a Kindle unlimited, those will not be heavy to move and won’t get dusty.
        Btw: Hannah Henry’s title Off ice behavior is free today (one year anniversary of publication)!

  5. Does lying in bed dreaming up a plot qualify as work? (An author I’ve worked with in the past asked me to participate in an anthology of short novellas, max 15K words, and I said yes! Because 15K is relatively easy to finish, and I’m very short of time these days.)

    Now it’s back to doing the day job, mostly bookkeeping and related stuff, which I don’t dislike, but it’s always crazy in January.

  6. I’ve been working on my quilting. I don’t know what I was thinking, trying to get three quilts completed in the next month! I spent hours over the weekend and I’m still not done with the background filler. Ah well, I’ll just have to prioritize and maybe let something go til next year.

    Meanwhile, I wanted to do something a little more intricate for the miniature quilt, so I pulled out my scraps and a block pattern from the Nearly Insane quilt. Here’s most of it – hopefully, I’ll have this block completed later today.

    Other than that, getting back into the swing of things. I was talking to someone the other day who said that what I was doing now in terms of exercise and self care, wasn’t working, so I needed to change something. That’s stuck with me. I need to get myself more active physically, without letting myself slide back into the inertia of slothdom.

      1. That’s lovely! The colors are so bright and all the white makes them pop. You really bring joy by sharing your work with us. Thanks.

      2. I love it! So tiny are the pieces! The colors are great! Do you know how you’ll quilt it?

  7. But you like us better than those other weak-assed groups, right??

    I visited St. Paul’s cathedral this morning which was tremendous, gorgeous, astonishing and chock full of history. The monument to Wellington alone was worth it, as he is an historical figure of great fascination to me. And walked through the streets of London to there. Totally blissful. Now back to the day job.

      1. Probably not, sadly. I’m planning a visit to the National Portrait Gallery though where I’m going to stare at all his pictures.

        1. Tammy, I am so jealous, I want to be wandering the National Portrait Gallery in London. Enjoy your day. Sadly we have not been to England for a while. Every time we are heading over to Europe I ask if H wants to go to England first. Lately the answer has been no. I may have to go a few days before him and get my fill. This year Amsterdam and down the Rhine to Zurich for the Christmas Markets.

          1. We went to the Christmas markets in Zurich (and Lucerne and Basel) last year. My sweet summer Christmas children were captivated.

            Random nearby recommendation, if you haven’t been to the paper museum in Basel, I loved it.

          1. NB if you have time, Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn is well worth a visit – he was an architect, collector & hoarder who flourished end C18 & early C19. He bought the house next door when he ran out of space to live alongside his collection. It’s a fabulous mishmash – Hogarth & sarcophaguses & endless curiosities. I used to go there sometimes in my lunch hour when I worked in Bloomsbury.

          2. Jane any other suggestions ? I will be visiting DD at the end of Jan and have seen the usual sights and many less usual—have always wanted to see the Soane museum and should be able to this trip.

  8. Yesterday, I worked on getting the 10+ inches of snow we had off my driveway, sidewalk and patios. My driveway is long and steep, so it’s a challenge. The young neighbor across the street was also out shoveling and came over to offer to get the nasty snow plow sludge off the bottom of the drive. Then, two other neighbors came over when I was half done shoveling, and helped finish the driveway. Wow! Nice people exist in my neighborhood. It’s presently 19º, and it is supposed to get down to -11º by Monday, so I’m working on staying warm. I guess I’ll have to break out the long underwear.

  9. Monday I shoveled 6 inches of snow. Yesterday I battened things down for the big blow. Today the snow is all gone, and the surf is operatically huge and dramatic, with the sun shining.

    The Christmas tree is down, in fact the Christmas tree has blown across the yard. I

    Other than that I am just a drag-butt about everything.
    I’m the dullest, dumbest, and the worst…

    There. I’ve hit bottom. Now I can move on. Nothing but good times ahead!

  10. I’m working on learning how to do things left handed. I had a fall over the weekend and landed on my right wrist. I thought it was a sprain but when I went to urgent care yesterday, they took X-rays and discovered a break. So now I have a temporary splint on and am getting the real cast on tomorrow. So now I am heading out to the store to find pants I can put on without the use of my right hand. I have already found I cannot wear jeans because I can’t pull up the zipper!
    I’m blaming it all on Pippin (the kitten, not quite a cat yet). I was playing toss the toy with him when I lost my balance and down I went. He, of course, thinks it’s fine because now he has a new toy to wrestle (my arm in the splint) despite my refusals to comply.

    1. Poor baby! As a person who is very far from ambidextrous, I can vividly imagine your frustrations.

    2. Wow! So either you typed this lefthanded or you voicewrote it with perfect punctuation and capitalization and no weird autocorrect. I’m very much impressed! Or you dictated it to a human, less likely because of no one to help with zippers. My sympathies on the injury in any case.

    3. Ouch! Sending healing-vibes your way!
      You only really start appreciating having two functioning arms when one is knocked out of play. HUGE respect for people who live one- or none-armed every day! And hope you will feel better soon.

    4. I have been in your situation. I learned to hook my bra on at my front, then turn it around. I bought an electric can opener. I had a loose dress I wore all the time (it was July). If you’ve never done this, remember, it’s broken. It’s not just sore, it’s broken. Be really gentle with it for quite a while.

      1. MaineBetty, that’s how I am having to fasten my bra. It feels so wrong as, in a former life, I was a professional bra fitter and learned the only proper way to put a bra on, which is not this way! Lol

    5. I’ve been in a similar position. I wanted to make sure you knew that your mouse can be set to be left-handed – so a “right click” becomes you clicking on the left side of the mouse.

      Try the tooth flossers that have a small piece of floss between an arch for flossing as they can be used 1 handed, unless that isn’t an issue.

      Good luck and may you heal quickly!

    6. If you have a local chico s they have black pull on pants that I used religiously after my shoulder surgery. They still carry them

  11. I celebrated book-release day yesterday by going to the doctor’s office to get them to confirm that yes, indeed, the Lyme Disease I got in July is still active and has flared up yet again, and that’s why I’ve been exhausted and not getting more than bare minimum work done since Christmas. It’ll be another week for the tests to come back, but I’m 99% sure of the diagnosis.

    1. I’m sorry Gin, that’s a tough one to get and get over. Hugs and healing vibes coming your way!

    2. May it calm down quickly and easily! I hope there is good care for you ahead!

      Your book looks right up my alley! Looking forward to it!

  12. Had an unexpectedly long session at the dentist’s on Monday. (As in almost two hours in the chair.) Dentist thinks she saved enough of the tooth that it can be successfully recrowned, which had been in doubt. So now I’ve got to be careful of the temporary. I made pea soup yesterday to give myself another choice in soft foods. On the other side of my mouth I also have a vacant spot after an extraction, so chewing is getting interesting. (A partial denture will fill in when all the dental work is done. More to come, alas.) Obviously no physical exertion, but a LOT of stress, to much the same effect. I had light-duty chores planned for yesterday but did not get a whole lot farther than the soup and a little cleaning. Decided I can postpone a grocery run, but today’s agenda includes a library visit and more chores. (I really had been pretty good about tooth care. Things are just wearing out!) Either bean soup or turkey-frame soup next up, but not today. And more chili soon.

  13. I’m working on recovering from the cold from hell. I’m in the third week of it. It finally seems to be improving, so I’m hopeful.

    On the work front, I spent the morning researching new website hosts. I realized there were technical issues with my current provider and their solution is for me to move to their exorbitantly expensive plan. My solution is to find a new host. I sought out some recommendations, did some research, and have picked a new provider. I will punt the migration to Monday, which is when I’m supposed to do business things, and try to get back to writing this afternoon.

    1. Colds from Hell are no fun! Other things to watch out for (that I learned the hard way, and that you may already know): allergies tend to get worse the older one gets, so what one thinks is a cold may be allergy, or worsened by allergy; if there is any wheezing involved (if you exhale strongly and there is still a noise for a second after you stop), one has probably picked up pneumonia, which unlike a cold can be treated by antibiotics. Computer or website problems are all by definition From Hell. Good luck with that!

    2. My sympathies. I had a cold like that before Christmas. It took 3 full weeks till I got back to normalish levels of energy. It completely wiped me out.

      1. Yes, the 3-week cold! It’s apparently a thing this year. Since I’ve been sick, we’ve heard about several people who have had the same sort of affliction.

  14. Dragon-egg. Nearing the end of glueing now. Going to buy grout on Friday. Might never want to see an egg again once this is done.
    Started talking writing with a friend. Just asked him out of the blue if he’s ever considered writing stories and told him I used to and that I miss it very much, which lead us to what to write about and why and how and all that good stuff. I shared one of my old things with him to give an example on how one thing leads to another and suddenly you end up with something bonkers you never thought would come out of your head. We’re now discussing sharing stories and trying to inspire each other, so I can rediscover writing, and he can start discovering it. Hope it’ll become a thing. I really miss it.
    Discovering hidden pockets of sad inside and wondering how to let it out and let it go? I guess that in some way, it’s good to realize the whys and the hows about things, how stuff is connected, but how do you proceed from there? Especially when it feels like history keeps repeating itself? Therapy apparently hasn’t been able to remove these so: how? If it was as easy as just to decide it’s not there or it’s not worth paying attention to, it’d been gone by now. I’m tired of being sad. I much rather carry around pocket-hugs than pocket-sad. Pocket-sad sucks.

    1. Sending you a few kitten pocket hugs.

      I think S.A.D. has hit me as of a few days ago. it’s not the same but I too would like to lose the sadness.

    2. Yes, but you seem to have accomplished more than any of the shrinks you’ve seen in the last year, so that is a good start to the year.

      As for moving on from past sadness,my Peace Breathing teacher had a suggestion. Start by doing inhale-World, exhale-Peace for at least 7 repetitions. Then move on to inhale-Fading Away, exhale-World Peace. You are supposed to picture all the things that tie you up fading out of the top of your head so that the goodness of world peace can fill up the recently emptied space. Personally, I have better results sticking with World Peace for the whole session, but the rest of the class found it helpful. As Jenny says, “There are many roads to Oz.”

    3. I’m not sure how to picture this dragon egg. “Grout” is used primarily with masonry, floor tiles, and such. If this egg is more like jewelry (like a Fabrige egg) or like finishing work on pottery, there is probably another English word. Google Translate gave me fogmassa (and other words with fog-) in Swedish, and one of the alternative words when I translated that back to English was sealant, which sounds more plausible but may not be right either.

      I have sympathy but not useful tips on the sadness. On story-writing, I worked on that for a while myself when young and did get as far as one paid publication (and some paid fiction translations), but I did not put in enough effort make it a success or a conclusive failure. So no useful tips there either, except that success in fiction writing may require much persistence. Fortunately, there are lots of more successful fiction writers than I on this site!

      1. Nope. Former art teacher here. Grout is the stuff you use on mosaics, too.

        “GROUT. A fluid mixture usually of lime or cement, fine sand, marble dust and water used to fill in the spaces or interstices between the tesserae of a mosaic.”

        1. My last art class was in 1963 in 8th grade, which I advance as my excuse for not even thinking about possible tilework on the egg. (Probably Shass described it earlier and I wasn’t paying attention.)

    4. You have such a great ability to be reflective & descriptive, Shass. Your writing partner proposal sounds very positive. As soon as I read your comment I was thinking- yes ! I recognise those pockets of sadness in the past but I could not have described it so effectively.
      From my experience I have found shining the light on issues is a strong & helpful starting point to then be able to deal with them. So I think identifying & being able to own them is a really positive (albeit difficult) step towards naming & minimising the ongoing impacts. Different things work for different people of course. Some processes I have tried include tapping to release ‘stuck’ thoughts & emotions; affirmations that retrain the brain DNA to accept a more positive view of thoughts/feelings/emotions/health issues & journalling without self editing & then tearing up the pages & burning them as a ritual letting go. I am not a mental health professional but I did struggle with depression for a long time before things turned around for me. So I just want to say hang in there & keep seeking answers because when you find what does work for you life will be so much easier & joyful. Sending you very very deep pockets full of healing hugs.

  15. This week i got back to writing, only 15-20 mins each evening but it feels like an accomplishment. Bad cold and family stuff before Christmas meant i didn’t have the mental energy for it. Now i’m just making myself write even if nothing interesting is coming out.
    On the day job front I see more and more work landing for the year, so my helpful (!) reaction is to do very little for the moment.

    1. I’m struggling with this too. Christmas always wears me out and maybe I have forgotten, but it seems worse than previous years.

      I make lists, doodles etc to start projects and then it is too much energy when I try to start them. Argh.

  16. My Blind Dates with Books experiment has so far been a success! I sold one the first day and four more on Monday, effectively halving my stock. That makes me happy. But it also puts me in a dilemma. I am not out of extra books that I have read. I could probably weed from my tbr but I don’t know if I want to use books that I can’t technically recommend…

    1. Congrats on it working, If you don’t have time to read books, but don’t want to sent out stuff un-recommended, maybe ask if people liked certain books on Good book day. The recommendations I’ve picked up here on good book day have been solid. This community does have excellent if varied taste

  17. I’m supposed to be keeping my stress levels low, so I’ve ditched social media. I’d already abandoned my newsletter, so I effectively have zero author presence at the moment. Hopefully at least a few people will remember me and be excited when I resurface? I have been writing a bit this week, though, and I fixed a thing with my business bank account…

    1. What good is promo on social media if it results in having nothing to promote? Take a vacation until you have established some momentum and then you’ll have something to talk about.

  18. Marketing & PR…now I am waiting for the Merchandise. T-Shirts with slogans, frying pan keyrings, charm bracelets with a charm of a dog from each book

    1. I would certainly be interested! Megan Whalen Turner did something like this on Owlcrate; I am now the possessor of 2 T-shirt’s and a tall travel mug based on her Queen’s Thief series.

    2. We had Agnes and the Hitman merch when it came out. A couple of mugs, a Cranky Agnes apron, that kind of thing. But that was many, many years ago.

      I just checked and you can still get the Cranky Agnes stuff. Everything is overpriced, but the stuff is still on there:

      1. I love my Cranky Agnes apron – I wear it when painting, and it’s now delightfully spattered.

  19. I’m working on staying warm and making sure the senior dog gets in and out of the house okay. It’s -26C (-14F) but with the high humidity and wind it feels more like -36C/-32F. Oof. I have to go shovel in a bit. We did not get the obnoxious amount of snow they were calling for, apparently Jan got it, but it’s a start.

    We are going to Edmonton this weekend but there’s no snow in the forecast after tonight so the roads should be good, which is a plus.

    1. Oh, that’s too cold! May it warm up for you soon, even if it just gets out of the negative zone.

      1. Oddly enough, if the 14-day forecast is correct, we will be back to our previously scheduled, weirdly warm and unsettling, 2023-24 winter weather of hovering around 0 to -5C soon.

        Tomorrow is supposed to be the coldest day with temps in the -40s. Of course, I have to actually leave the house and go to work that day. I’m going to suggest to my manager that we use the till furthest from the door.

  20. I’m slowly getting back to work. Caught up with admin on the rights of way research thing this morning, and am brainstorming my garden plans for this year in order to do my seed order. I cut up my Christmas tree and swapped it for last year’s in my front garden cat barrier (there’s just a bed about 11 x 2 ft plus a couple of planting holes, and if I don’t fill every inch of bare soil with fir branches, it immediately becomes a cat toilet). I cut up the remains of last year’s tree very small so I can mulch my blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with it: they all prefer a slightly acid soil.

    Next priority is to get back to playing around with fiction writing and also get goind on my big photography sort-out. And I think perhaps I should ask for some proof-reading before I drop off Penguin’s radar and lose the option to supplement my pension.

    1. When I moved into this house, the front flower bed was mostly dirt, and it was a cat toilet, too. The cat that used it most lived only two doors away! Geesh! I put bigs slabs of stone in the area, and eventually planted enough things that those could come out. It sounds like you have a plan for your problem!

      1. I’ve got two very thorny roses plus several shrubs and climbers in there, but there’s bare soil/mulch round their bases – and it’s almost the only soil on the street: nearly every other house has concreted over their front patch. So, of course, for the cats there’s nowhere else to go.

  21. I am terrible at promo. Find it very stressful, there are so many hoops to jump through and different variables for every platform, plus it adds deadlines to my life – which already runs on deadlines. Even doing an Insta post is a PITA because images have to be in special pixie Insta format so each one has to be created / manipulated, and if I want text with the image it’s a whole ‘nother PITA, and argh. Maybe that’s my 2024 marketing goal – get Insta images done for every single title. Arrrggh. Cannot justify hiring someone given that I make roughly $25/mo from writing.

    Working on some finance things. Have enlisted my dad, a professional broker who still actively manages the parental investments (he’s been very successful) to help me rebalance my rollover IRA. And I need to roll old HSA into new HSA so I only have the one account, this has moved up the queue because old HSA company is a dick.

    Also working on the annual health things. Today I am heading to ENT for vestibular therapy for vertigo. Fun times. After which I sign on for work because deadlines. Argh. There are donut shops between ENT and home, I make no promises about avoiding same.

  22. I’m back at work again. So far so good *knocks wood* Also started rehearsals.

    I do have some good news:

    (a) even though I’m still SOL when it comes to getting a limitations signoff/accommodations, my union guy said he could ask for an extension until the end of the month. Hopefully they grant it since I literally can’t get it done before then.

    (b) One of my new castmates works in HR for the state and will help me with applying there.

    (c) I called the Dept. of Rehabilitation and they said what I HAVE been diagnosed with counts! I have to go in person to drop off documentation, but I can take a day off next week to do that. Once I get disability certification, applying with the state becomes a whole lot easier and I can bypass the very hard testing system.

    1. Oh that is wonderful, Jennifer. Three such big potential positives must surely be the steps towards the outcomes that are best for you.

  23. That sounds like some encouraging news, Jennifer. At least you have some people working For you instead of Against you. Fingers crossed!

  24. I moved. Again.

    I’m out of my condo due to flooding. The ice maker died and poured water throughout the condo. So, I had to move out, and moved to a residence hotel. This was the end of November. My insurance didn’t want to continue to pay for said hotel and had me move to an Airbnb yesterday. (MUCH nicer than the hotel, by the way! Swanky, even.) But still, packing and moving and unpacking. I’m a change junkie, I love change, but at 70, I find that I’m maxing out on change; I want my condo and comfortable routines back!

    The condo HOA board votes this afternoon on whether to simply pay my reconstruction costs or take out an insurance claim themselves. Once that is done, I can finally (FINALLY) sign with the construction company I’ve chosen. And they want two months for the reconstruction.

    “This too shall pass” is my mantra.

    1. I’ve had TWO apartment floods. I feel your pain. My first one took two months to reconstruct too.

  25. I’m in Hawaii. It’s beautiful, my son’s wedding was beautiful. But I am out of my comfort zone, and feel just a little guilty about sorta, kinda, wishing I was home.

  26. Working Wednesday started bright and early with me waking at 5 A.M. to the sight of red and yellow flashes through my closed eyelids. The truck moved slowly from house to house apparently looking for numbers. I did get up and looked out the window to see where it went and that was it, I was up. It had rained heavily overnight along with winds, and I found a leak in the bathroom ceiling. I checked for more leaks and there were none upstairs. We’ve been discussing either calling the insurance company or paying for a new roof ourselves from a storm two weeks ago. It’s going to be a big expenditure. (I tend to wonder the overall cost to us verses a debit on our insurance, believe me they will get back at you somehow.) My husband woke later than me and asked me if I had the washing machine going downstairs and I said no and forgot about it till I went to the cellar and found we had water coming in. The sound he heard was the sump pump coming on which we haven’t used in years, so Yay that system worked. That’s how my day started.

  27. This week I worked on not falling too far behind on my 2024 work. Though we are only 10 days in, there was a lot of day-job carryover from 2023 to take care of. I have been enjoying crossing things off the list that are just never going to get done, as well as that things that–if they’ve been on the list for a year and haven’t been done, then they probably don’t need to be done.

    For non-work work, I’m working on organizing the garage and building some kind of storage that will let me access the things I need when I need them, rather than always having to move things around. Had I been more successful in my “Swedish Death Cleaning” last year I wouldn’t have this problem, but somehow I ended the year with more stuff instead of less. On the plus side, everytime I uncover something I didn’t remember I had it’s a pleasant surprise so there’s that.

  28. Didn’t do much today beyond baking a quiche and some dog biscuits. And searching FB, of course.

    1. Oops. That was supposed to say, I haven’t been working on stuff I should be doing…

      Thanks MJ!

  29. While the storms didn’t flood my basement (AKA the Owner’s Suite) they did make puddles by the west wall. Mopping up was more work than I wanted to do.

  30. We are going to move to a different state in July/August.

    I’ve begun the process of purging the house of just about everything that we can manage, so that the actual move will be lighter and less stressful.

    I mean, “less stressful” is probably foolish optimism, but I figure shedding most of the stuff by then will only be helpful.

    I’m starting with most of our old paper files.

    1. It will help with both the moving and the unpacking, so do it now and thank yourself later. I’ll start the cheering now.

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