Recently I had a funny memory that my cellphone bill was supposed to decrease after a certain amount of time. Probably from a fever dream but colleague suggested that I examine my bill.
In the course of examining my bill I learned that cellphone company had deals where I could get the same thing for much cheaper. But really want they wanted me to do was change to more than I need for almost the same money.
After doing the homework I consulted a cellphone company rep.
Rep wanted to “upgrade” me.
Basically I had the plan that was 2 oranges, 2 apples, and a banana, but LoganDylan said he could upgrade me to: 2 apples, a banana, and two oranges for almost 50% less money.
“Is that really an upgrade?” I said.
He was very excited to give me the upgrade. I said it wasn’t an upgrade but agreed to the new deal.
Bob took me to see UCLA at Oregon State for NCAA gymnastics and it would be difficult to convey how deliriously happy I was to be there. I love the sport and I’m such a huge fan of UCLA. Here I am on TV with Madison Kocian, Olympic, World, and NCAA champion (and Bob). Both teams were fantastic. It’s ridiculous how good your gymnastics team can be and still be in the late top 20.
Here’s the sad ficus. There were rumors of a snowpocolypse but the winds changed and we only got a few slushy inches. I didn’t even take photos because I was waiting for the good stuff and it went to Seattle instead. SO here is a snowless sad photo of the ficus that I euthanized. I still feel bad.
Big news. I finished a first draft of Book Four of Crooked Rock. It is extremely light in spots and needs tons of work but I’m still on schedule for a May release.
65227 / 75000 words. 87% done!
I thought this would be way funnier when I came up with the idea.
I wanted to post a photo of me in my treaty shirt for my book promotion but (a) we were in a hurry and (b) since I got braces I don’t like to smile with my teeth showing so I have this ridiculous look on my face like I fell asleep with my face pressed against a window and it stuck that way. I thought covering my face would be funny but it looks weird.
Better than my face!
Here’s a funny story.
A couple of weekends ago I was home by myself. I had just taken off my pajamas to throw them in the hamper when I heard a funny noise. I went to look out the kitchen window and our shed door was swinging open. This was about 9 in the morning.
I panicked because I wasn’t wearing pants. I ducked down from the window and ran back to the bedroom–my heart pounding!–to cover my bits.
A lot of angst went on about the shed door and prowlers and what I should do. Eventually I became 99% certain that the shed was left open by a person who did some impromptu tree pruning and the wind knocked the door open. Nothing was missing and I didn’t see or hear any actual people.
I know this word count still looks weak. I had to back track a bit and lost some ground. But I think I’m still in good shape.
Since I had such a productive morning I spent the afternoon on round one of our taxes. I do it myself and it involves a lot of swearing at the computer forms. I have to check my work but they they will be done way earlier than usual. Usually I wait until April and sweat it at the last minute.
60000 / 75000 words. 80% done!
I’m still tweaking my no-knead sourdough recipe. It’s almost always decent but sometimes it’s amazing.
The loaf above was neither. There’s a long bake with the lid on and then a shorter bake with the lid off and the temperature turned down a half notch. I’ve been experimenting with the timing and temperature.
On this one the timing got away from me for just a few minutes but that was enough. We sliced the burned part off and ate the yummy middle.
I recently subscribed to: the sourdough subreddit which has become one of my favorites. Using some tips from there, I tried something new this weekend plus due to timing issues I ended up doing the sourdough feeding cycle a couple of extra times. I went back to using the dutch oven instead of the pyrex.
Excellent loaf. So pretty and delicious. I took a picture of the crumb but it’s still on my camera and no time to deal with it right now.
I’m off to watch a little bit of the big throwball championship with my inlaws.
The book promotion went spectacularly. I had over 33,000 downloads. I’m super pleased and anxious to get Book 4 done.
Next weekend I am doing a big free promotion for the first book in penname’s urban Indian romance series.
If you know anyone who would enjoy a story about sexy young urban Indians, now is the perfect time to spread the word.
This is Book One of Four. When I started, I intended to have stand-alone stories with a minor connected story in the background.
Unfortunately, that got away from me. They aren’t stand alone.
All the open storylines will conclude in Book Four which I plan to have out in late spring.
Here’s the blurb:
There’s never a dull moment at the Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center.
Rayanne Larson knows firsthand the struggles of native people. Working at Crooked Rock gives her the chance to do good work for Indians living in the city. She has high hopes for the Center’s progress until its new leader hands her special project over to his underachieving–and distractingly sexy–nephew.
Henry Grant’s life is going just fine. Though he knows rez life, he’s always been an urban Indian. He has no interest in the Indian Center job his uncle pushes on him. That is until he meets Rayanne. She’s attractive and smart, and like no woman he has ever met.
Rayanne is determined to keep her distance but when the Center faces a crisis, the two of them are forced to work together, and she can no longer ignore the sparks between them.
Here are the purchase links:
Kindle | Nook | Apple | Kobo
One time I found Bob’s bath towel in the laundry. I washed it and hung it on the hook behind the door so he would have it next time he bathed. It sounds thoughtful but it’s also so he won’t get out of the shower dripping wet and wander around leaving puddles everywhere because he forgot about a towel. I can’t imagine getting into a shower and not knowing exactly how I would dry myself but our brains don’t work alike.
Next time I went in the laundry room it was already balled up and back with the dirty clothes.
He thought he forgot to put it in the wash so he threw the clean towel in there.
Now I fold towels and put them in the cupboard when they come out of the dryer.
Last night I couldn’t sleep and Bob was very chatty while he slept. He told someone they were cute. He said he was happy. He was looking forward to having fun. Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun.
I sketched out the milestones I’m aiming for Book 4. Still on track for a spring (late spring!) release. Although I should tack another month on because it seem like it always takes longer than I think when I get to the last stages.
52085 / 75000 words. 69% done!
This is most of the to-read shelf. There are other pockets of to-read books on various other bookshelves in the house. Probably another 30-40 ebooks. I use three different ereader apps to disguise the extent of the problem. Not that it’s a problem.
While I’ve been directing so much energy to writing, my reading has taken a hit. (Along with TV and movie watching.) For a couple of years I tried to minimize how many books I acquired but I gave that up because getting more books is fun.
But at the moment they are stacking up faster than I can make a dent and a lot of the books I want to read are fatties. Last year I finished 16, the year before 12 and the year before 17. That’s not a perfect count because sometimes I don’t write them down.
Going through this stack made me want to weep a couple of times as books that I forgot about were buried in the back where I never see them. I think I’ve been “currently reading” that Ted Chiang collection in Goodreads for two or three years.
This is a great problem to have. I finished two books yesterday so I get to pick something new.
Here is the current status of Book #4.
45270 / 75000 words. 60% done!
I am doing a big free promotion for Book #1 at the end of the month. Details to come.
I had this great idea of doing a 2018 wrap up and talk about some fun things I did, movies I saw, books I read, recipes I tried. But I’m still writing books so I didn’t do very many of those things. The above photo is me in Atlanta, pretending I’m going to demolish all this barbecue. I did eat my fair share.
I saw I,Tonya and Phantom Thread in the last couple of months and thought both were fantastic. I watched the first season of The Crown which was phenomenal. I had a list of things I wanted to watch or re-watch during the holidays and ended up spending almost zero time in front of the TV.
One of my favorite foods is fresh figs. I’m still several years away of having a fruit bearing tree but my neighbor gave me some and I picked some off the tree in Orleans.
I didn’t read a lot of books this year but most of the ones I read were great. Some friends gave me In the Distance by Hernan Diaz and I loved it. It’s like Cormac McCarthy only less dark but more odd. Kira gave me a book called A Court of Thorns and Roses which resulted in me spending every spare moment of holiday time reading. I read all three books which grew fatter and fatter as the series continues. (There’s a novella to bridge these books to some news ones but I didn’t read that.) Sexy faeries if that’s what you’re looking for.
This is a hole in the ground in my backyard and I’m going to have an exciting announcement about it coming up next year. Something to look forward to.
I didn’t try many new recipes this year. I did try this: spicy chickpea and coconut milk soup which we inhaled. It made a ton, too. My stovetop pressure cooker that we got when we got married died so we just bought an Instant Pot. I will report back when I have more data.
Get out there and have a Happy New Year.
I’m scheduling this in advance and this is the forecast for my destination. Looks good, huh? Luckily there will be lots of food and fine company, plus puzzles and books. It’s going to be good.
60s Christmas. Are those bathrobes epic, or what? Going to be celebrating with my family again this year
There is a trio of elders in our neighborhood who walk every morning.
One morning we were going for a walk and as we made our way down our street we noticed a large number of cats lurking at the curb and watching. We were half joking about it and half creeped-out.
Then lady walker came around the corner with a little bag. She gives treats to all the cats. It’s very cute. Yesterday I was up early and I looked out the window and I saw two yellow safety vests and a third figure wearing several red blinky lights giving one of the neighbor cats a treat.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may the new year be filled with people bringing you treats.
[Long very sweaty, spitty, furious rant about recent update to WordPress omitted. After wasting an enormous amount of my time, I found a plugin to let me revert to the old way of posting. And I would tolerate the new way if there was warning and some tutorials. No. Just, here you go, completely new interface. I couldn’t make it work and did not design my day to figure out new software this afternoon.]
This is my winter flowerbed. I made myself go out there on Friday and chopped down the dead dahlias and pulled out some other dead stuff.
These are my broad beans and a bunch of stuff composting in the middle of the garden. You can’t see from this angle but there’s a butternut squash that had a bad spot on it and was rotten before I could pick it.
Normally I roll my eyes at certain types of kitchen innovations and shortcuts but precut parchment paper sheets are AMAZING. I hate cutting parchment paper and dealing with the curling flappyness. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture. I got them at the grocery store. They just pop out of a box and fit right in the sheet pan. I am now so motivated to use parchment for everything.
My favorite sleeping style is to be on my stomach with one of my legs bent so my hips are crooked and then both hands curled up into little T-Rex fists and wedged underneath my body.
Apparently this is a very bad position to sleep in. Bad for hips, arms, neck, back. Who knows? Probably my skin, too.
Also developing: age related creakiness in all those same spots. If I sit funny even for a short time I am toast.
I am trying to learn how to sleep on my back which is supposedly good for you but feels completely unnatural and contrary to human biology. Even watching people on TV go to sleep on their backs troubles me.
But if you want to go around without neck pain or wrist aches, you have to make the tough changes.
When I first get in bed I start on my back but. so far, I can’t fall asleep like that so after awhile I move to my side. I have woken up on my back so there’s hope. At the same time, when I’m half-asleep, I find myself sliding onto my belly and kicking my knee to the side. I love it.
Crooked Rock #4 update:
37565 / 75000 words. 50% done!
I don’t know what my current word count is because I decided to move some stuff around and the ms. is all torn apart at the moment. But this is the real end goal.