Happiness is Finishing a Book

I love finishing something because I so rarely do. Very good at starting things, finishing not so much, which is why Bob Mayer is a godsend. He finishes EVERYTHING. Of course, now I’m moving into OMG-is-it-any-good????-territory, but still. Rocky Start is finished and that’s a huge relief.

What made you happy this week?

58 thoughts on “Happiness is Finishing a Book

  1. I am having a relaxing and restorative long holiday which I really needed. Just enough productivity (vacuuming! Dishwasher! Baking!) to really make me feel I have earned lazing about. The required socializing was all enjoyable and I have leftover cookies. Life is good.

    1. I’m happy for a cool morning walk, before the morning heats up. I’ve been avoiding real life, so science fiction, fighting aliens and making peace with them, plus a side trip to a fictional Ireland.
      UK and France give me hope.

  2. Happiness *definitely* is finishing a book! It’s also starting a book. 🙂

    Aside from a strong beginning to the new shoe-prompted novelette, I was happy to run down to Huntington Beach on Friday, in unusually light freeway traffic, to spend a few hours with my friend there.

    And today something on my wishlist was free, so happiness is free books.

  3. I harvested most of my garluc scapes. Fifty went to the flower farm to be used in bouquets and table arrangements. It makes me very happy to be a supplier of a plant they aren’t growing this year. I can’t wait sit to see them in arrangements. The remaining scapes will become pesto. Lots of people on my area are having issues with bugs in their garlic but the bulb I pulled is fine. Still small but it has time to grow. The rest of the garden is coming all big thanks to frequent rain showers and hot weather.

    One of my dearest friends decided to come for a visit in August. I love spending time with her and am already counting down the days until she arrives.

    I volunteer at a local historical garden on Sunday mornings and despite the heat, there were lots of volunteers and visitors. The garden bed I work in is very large and has lots of bare spots. Thanks to another volunteer, I was able to fill in a number of these spots with plants she was removing from her bed. Fewer bare spots means less space for weeds so I happily dug holes for the new plants. The garden is looking glorious at the moment and based on the comments I got this am, it brings happiness to a lot of people.

  4. This week I will try to pick up all the balls I dropped from us all having COVID, then guests. And start vocalizing again, I’m singing in a recital in one month!

    Really enjoying humming birds coming to the feeder outside the kitchen window, and we’re in the time of the day lilies and Shasta daisies. One of my favorite times.

  5. I am happy because I rescheduled my stress test appointment to the facility a couple of miles from me. I was really worrying about getting to the appointment on time, driving so far during morning rush hour, and going without food or water for a longer time. There was an opening a week later at the place close to me, which was just fine. And it’s in the afternoon, so I can actually have breakfast, and still be under the four hour NPO requirement before the hike on the treadmill.

    I’m also happy because I found some very nice, inexpensive, button-down linen shirts to wear to the test. They have to attach a lot of leads to my chest, so button down works better for them than a tee shirt, which is what I mostly live in during the summer. I have a choice of colors, too! Now, I’m ready.

    I saw this quote in an opinion piece today, and thought about Rocky Start and Max: “In his seminal work about one of antiquity’s greatest hikers, ‘The Myth of Sisyphus,’ Camus writes of a different major life decision: ‘An act like this is prepared within the silence of the heart, as is a great work of art. The man himself is ignorant of it.’” The writer was talking about his seemingly random decision to hike the Appalachian Trail. I never thought of Sisyphus as a hiker. It seems like a possible book is also often lurking in the silence of the heart.

  6. I’m happy to be going to a no doubt weird play at the Fringe Theatre Festival tonight in Toronto.

    1. And sure enough, it was a little weird. Not the play itself which was about the staff at a restaurant. But because it was staged at an actual restaurant, with the audience members acting as the restaurant patrons, and drink tickets sold in advance – at any time you could raise your hand and say: “Excuse me, can I order a drink?” and one of the actors/staff would pause and interact with you to get your drink order. Became an audience contest to see who could interrupt the actors at the most inappropriate moments. Super fun.

  7. Currently in France and very very happy that the extreme right has come third in the parliamentary elections.
    Also very happy that the Conservative who made Brexit possible and made me feel very unwelcome in my adopted country have lost the UK elections.
    Finally France and England have both reached the semi finals in the Euro but won’t be facing each other, which is very very good for my marriage 😉
    So all is well this Sunday for me!

    1. Oh, that’s such good news about France, LN. I didn’t think there’d be any news yet: thank you! (And I’m absolutely with you re the Tories: I was ashamed of the way they governed the country.)

    2. It’s really good news, and I bet feels even better when you’re in France. Enjoy the celebrations!

    3. That news gave me a little spot of hope this weekend. Here’s hoping that things will start getting better.

  8. I’m happy to have finished a lap quilt (link to pic below), and finished the basting of a bed-sized quilt (it’s too humid this weekend to start quilting it as I’d planned to do), and almost finished quilting another lap quilt, except the humidity arrived before I could do the last four blocks and the borders. (If anyone’s wondering, free-motion quilting requires the quilt to slide smoothly over the bed of the machine, under the needle, rather than the needle moving over the quilt, like with a long-arm machine, and humidity makes the sort of quilt stick to the bed. I may have to get a silicone sheet for the machine’s bed if the humidity doesn’t let up, but it’s pricey and I don’t usually need it.)

    Pic of finished quilt (and two others in the same design): https://www.instagram.com/p/C9IUR98xBEI/?img_index=1

    Other than that, still happy with the results of the cataract surgery on my left eye (and impatient to get the second one scheduled), happy with the bountiful and early harvest of black raspberries growing wild in my yard, and happy with the new Penric novella that I zipped through reading last night.

    Oh, and I’m happy both that the Romancing the Vote auction raised some serious money (close to $200K this year, and they’re coming really close to a three-auction grand total of a million dollars), with a little help from my items, and also happy that it’s over (except for the mailing of items), so I can focus on finishing other things (two secret project novellas) starting tomorrow.

    1. Love all of them! I have to move to smaller quilts again – the big one I’ve been working on for a year is just too much… and you’re making such charming patterns in the smaller spaces. Nice!

      1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun with the quiltlets — a chance to declutter my workspace by using up old bits and pieces, plus lots of immediate satisfaction from finishing things quickly!

    2. The blue one is my favorite, which surprises me because I usually favor purple. They’re all lovely.

  9. Lots of relief this week, making me happy. My visit to a stressed-out family friend and then the memorial where I expected to encounter the friend who gave me the sack five years ago both went really well (the erstwhile friend didn’t show up). The meadows on the Dorset coast were stunning. I had a moment of joy driving back over the old Severn bridge, which was one of my dad’s favourites. And then we got rid of the awful Tory government, which has been running the country into the ground, so there’s room for hope again.

    1. That is wonderful. I hope we in the US have the same result in November, except keeping the people only out for themselves from power.

  10. Happy to have enjoyed a good crop of black raspberries, And happy to eat the first ripe blackberry.

    I enjoyed following the Romancing the Vote Auction. The one quilt, Sweet Dreams (I think it’s called) was breathtaking.

    My car loan will be paid off in a couple of weeks so I’ll have some cash to contribute to democracy efforts. I’m hoping the Dems will have sorted out the candidate issues by then. Like that matters as to how I’ll be voting.

    And Rocky Start is coming!

  11. We’ve been having rain storms last night and this afternoon. I’m hopeful that this is a welcome break in the weather, which has been unbearably hot and dry the last month. That makes me happy. And I’ve been making good progress on my signature quilt. Yippee!

  12. Starting and finishing a re-read yesterday of your Fast Women was happiness, Jenny. First time I’ve been able to get my cricket mind to settle to finish a book in one day in longer than I care to remember… Finishing my to-do list yesterday was happiness, too.

    And once I added the things I actually did to the list and ticked them off again, it looked like i accomplished a lot!

  13. Today’s happiness is having had a lovely 6 day visit from youngest son, his girlfriend and our granddog. There was sadness when they all left this morning, but it was a wonderful visit with laughs and good food and just hanging out enjoying each other’s company. Such a great feeling.

  14. Planning my backpacking trip for next month is making me very happy. I love having an adventure to look forward to, and this one is coming together into something special. If all the pieces fall into place, I think we can be out there for a good 12 days or so without needing to hike out, which makes me tingle all over to think about.

    Also happy: I fired a kiln Friday (an all-day activity), and unloaded it today. It’s such a cool thing to do, even if I was slightly baffled by a few results…glaze chemistry is so complex. Honestly, I am pretty sure I love pottery *because* of the unpredictability & failure rate, rather than in spite of it. Which probably says something about me.

    Some wispy bits of stray happiness: (1) waking up in the night and reaching out to touch my younger dog, who never complains about being rudely awakened but simply wriggles all over with immediate delight; (2) the daisies blooming against our brick wall; (3) soup.

    1. I’m really happy about the French and British elections and hoping they bode well for the US.
      Happy to have helped a much admired friend and former colleague put together a loaf of activities we can do to try to make our election come out ok, which we will share widely . Would people want that here ? Would our hostess approve ?
      Happy to have read the new Penric and enjoyed it .
      Happy to have probably finished planting my flower garden, and to be able to cut the occasional lily for indoors. I have decided that because of deer both my tulips and lilies are really cutting flowers (but I have lots of others that can stay outside). Also happy that this means I don’t have to work much outside in the 95 F heat.
      Happy that my knee and hip are almost pain free.
      Happy to be eating summer foods like squash blossom scrambled eggs and fresh lemonade and sorrel broth and salade nicoise and pistachio scape pesto.
      Happy to have weeded out and organized my cookbook collection. We will get rid of about 10 books and moved about 10 to the reading shelves and now our collection fits nicely on the 10ft of cookbook shelves in the kitchen and are organized by type of food except for the shelf of most frequently used ones.
      Happy that DH is now hooked on Only Murders in the Building.
      Happy to have had six social engagements in five days and really happy to have had a quiet weekend.

    2. I am the opposite about pottery. I absolutely love it and collect it with shameful abandon, but the anxiety and random whims of the Kiln Gods was too much for me. I will happily buy other people’s pottery. Most of my collection is thrifted, but I don’t care if it matches.

  15. A relaxing family reunion in Tennessee this week. I was happy that the dog behaved well with all the kids
    He was less well behaved with the deer and squirrels. It is so frustrating, he doesn’t make a peep at the deer eating my garden, but the Tennessee deer were to be chased off at all costs.

  16. Congratulations on finishing a book! (from a woman whose clean laundry is still in the dryer).
    I am happy that I tested negative for COVID-19 after being exposed last weekend. Also that I didn’t seem to hurt my nose with the probe.

  17. I’m happy that we didn’t go visit the in-laws who were recovering from Covid but instead stayed home and watched the neighbors shoot of fireworks.

    Because I had planned to do part of a shop hop in the SW region of Michigan on the way home from Illinois, I instead went on Friday w/3 other quilters for the southern route set of shops and then on Saturday instead of Sunday with 2 other quilters (1 person went on both routes like I did) for the northern route. I am happy to have done it and that I have a full region completed. My husband is happy he didn’t have to go on the shop hop.

    I’m happy I got a good start on my presentation that I’ll be giving Thursday. I’m also happy to have finished the book I was reading. I’m very happy that Rocky Start is done.

    When will Rocky Start be available in print?

  18. On Wednesday, I mentioned the task of Expending the perishable contents of my larder. I have canned goods that approach their formerly distant worse-after dates. I have formerly fresh foods in the refrigerator that, unconsumed, will shift from that cooling unit to the garbage bin. Knowing that I could not dawdle nor hesitate nor especially dally, linger, loiter, pause, prolong, protract, stall, stay, tarry, temporize, wait… nor waste time looking up synonyms for procrastinate… I set about to finish that task.

    I had vowed not to shop until the bulk of my groceries were cooked and eaten or frozen!

    My willpower, too, had an expiration date. It arrived sooner than the others. I was, after all, completely out of bagels. And short on carbonated beverages. A significant fraction of my grocery bill was for 12-packs of potables. The beef jerky was strictly for grandkinder. Everything fit – mostly in the freezer – but I still have the unfinished task of expending the perishable contents of my larder.

    1. I am now down to the last two single-serving Minute Rice cups. The other became parts of meals with eggs (poached, hard boiled, and twice Egg Beaters) with meat (Jimmy Dean sausage links or Black Forest Ham), and once even cheese. These dishes were quick and easy and delicious and low in calories. Though none were fried, all resembled fried rice.

      The next target may be nine individual Mac & Cheese sides with those meats and eggs. They already have the cheese.

      After that, the thirty-eight cans of soup will get my attention, in pairs.

      1. I am impressed by your strategising to ensure all food items on hand will be consumed & also your variations on themes/food, Gary.
        It appears to be planned with the organisational precision of a military (or naval) campaign.
        And I feeling virtuous due to making & freezing one pot of pumpkin, cauliflower & roasted garlic soup on the weekend 😳.

        1. I used multiple colors of cauliflower in pasta salad (bowties vs elbows). Each day has been as hot as the last and the menu needs to be changed just a bit.

          1. There are multiple colors of cauliflower?! I did not know that. (I eat it in stuff but it isn’t my favorite veggie.)

            As much as I love pasta, I try to avoid overdoing pasta. Buying a dozen Mac and Cheese cups was definitely a mistake. Buying another dozen by a different manufacturer compounding the mistake. Thematically eliminating them was probably another mistake – too many carbs this week. And I ate another chef boy-these-are-gluey tonight with pork ribeyes and bacon. No regrets about the pork and bacon. 😀

            My Walmart subscription arrived. No more Minute Rice. Instead, I have a dozen (Uncle) Ben’s Brown Rice 90-second pouches to last six months. They won’t.

  19. I harvested potatoes today. Critters had gotten to them, so I had little hope, but when I started digging around, I found a bunch. Fewer than there should have been, but enough for a few servings. It was a successful experiment. Every year I watch potatoes get planted on Gardeners World and Beechgrove Garden and think I should try it, and finally this year I did.

    Also, I had 4 straight days off. Lots of reading and baseball, with just the right amount of socializing. (Not very much.)

    Plus France held off the far right!

  20. I am happy cause I have Mon, Tues, Wed off. Then I work Thur & Fri. Then I am off Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed!!! Also – I worked the holiday as usual & got paid double time for doing it – always a happy!!!

    I am happy about the French & UK elections! Please let us follow right behind them in the sunshine & not veer off into the ugly, unkind path full of hatred that is threatening to destroy us.

    Still making headway cleaning / clearing my house. Still procrastinating about doing any of the paperwork-y type stuff involved in moving.

    Having Rocky Start to look forward to is making me happy!

  21. My happiness this week was seeing my dad for the first time in months. He’s camped his way up to our town and we had dinner.
    He’s also coming with us on our annual two-week camping trip in a couple weeks.

    It’s hot and sunny so things are growing. It still cools off at night which is nice, but have learned that breeze matters in cooling the hot house off. Even the cat looks like he’s been poured onto the floor.

  22. I’m happy that my cat seems to be recovering from her cystitis. The vet gave her an opiate for the pain the first night, and she was high out of her furry little mind. Very happy to have caught that on video too.

    1. Any chance of sharing that video via Instagram? Also, super happy that your kitty is doing better!

      1. Thanks Kelly. I would love to share but I’m not on any social media. She was rocking like a metronome, then stretched and almost fell over. Poor baby.

  23. Sunday was my great nephew’s 20th birthday and I went out to my sister’s house for the birthday dinner. The birthday boy’s father was there and I saw him for the first time since he started immunotherapy for his stage 4 cancer. He looks very thin, but seems to be in moderately good spirits because after an early dinner he and the birthday boy left to go fishing. I’m sure that both of them returned covered in mud, because it has been raining off and on all weekend.
    Despite the mud for fishing, the rain made me happy because it interfered with at least one of the Nascar races that have overtaken Chicago this weekend. They totally disrupt the entire heart of the city for a month and make it very hard to get around. There was a sign at the bus stop saying that the buses had been rerouted, but it didn’t say where. It wasn’t a big deal for me because I was able to take the subway home, but there were some tourists with luggage who were trying to get to their hotel, who had no idea how to get there since the street their bus was supposed to take was not running where they had been told it was.

  24. I just got home after spending 11 days in Columbus coaching at U.S. Fencing Summer Nationals. I’m very happy to be home.

    I’m also happy that one of my students took 3rd place at the Y12 (12 and under) National Championship. And our club had another one take 5th in the Y10 National Championship, and he’s only 9 so he’ll still be Y10 next year too.

    I’m also happy that despite my poor result from my own age group competition this past week, base on past results I still made the U.S. team for the Veteran World Fencing Championships (Veteran meaning old people not military service). Not so happy that they’re in Dubai this year. Not someplace I would otherwise want to visit.

      1. I got stuck there for 48 hours once, and don’t plan to repeat the experience. The gulf in living standards between classes was frankly obscene.

  25. I was wondering if you plan to use the same editing process for the new trilogy as you did for the Lavendar trilogy. While I loved the books, I found myself noticing many more errors, typos and inconsistencies than I’ve ever seen previously in your books (and I’ve read them all). Perhaps the editing process for print on demand is less rigorous? I have no training as an editor but I have an eye for detail and would be happy to provide feedback on drafts so that what goes to print can be flawless!

    1. The early edition of Lavender’s Blue was riddled with errors, which we fixed in later editions of that title. Still working the kinks out of the process. The last two were heavily edited, as has been Rocky Start. Yeah, we’re getting the hang of this. Slowly.

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