#indigenous (Old Timers Parade)

Just returned home from Orleans tonight. Long day of driving. I am pooped.

Hopefully next week by this time the manuscript will be off to first readers. It’s going to be tight.

My last trip to Orleans I drove with my Auntie, and I didn’t think she would enjoy my music or podcasts, so I bought a book on CD that I thought we would both enjoy: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

This book has been on my shelf forever. Bob and I saw the author lecture and loved his talk.

Auntie and I got through 8 of 13 discs. I had this great idea that I would read the book up to the part where we listened and then start with the discs again. HA HA. I read 30 pages and never touched it again.

On the drive down I listened to podcasts but on the way home I listened to the book, and I still have 1 and 1/2 discs left. ARGH. Must finish.

Next weekend, fingers crossed. More photos of my trip to come.

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Socked in the Jaw

I spoke too soon and completely jinksed it. The neighbors woke me up 3 times last weekend including twice in one night (11:30am and 2:30am), there have been six cars parked there since I got home last night, they woke me up at 2:30 and 4:30 (!). Mom must be away again. argh.

Last week I was running some errands and had to transport various awkwardly shaped items to and from the car. In the process I managed misjudge what I was doing and hit my jaw on the corner of the car door really hard. I have a relatively high pain threshold and I still had to stand there for a couple of minutes with my eyes watering. It made me think of all those movies and TV shows where the hero gets beaten up and/or shot and then rappels out of a building and leaps into a helicopter and flies off to save the day. That wouldn’t happen.

I was out in the garden earlier looking for greens and I found raspberries. If it ever stops raining I need to get back out there and harvest.

Ms. is cooking along, still more slowly than I like, but I will meet my goals one way or another.

Coming soon: Clarion West Beg-a-thon. It the 10 year anniversary.

68512 / 75000 words. 91% done!

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The Good Place

There’s this comedy TV show called The Good Place that’s about this woman who dies and ends up in the Good Place when it seems that she should have ended up in the Bad Place. We’re already through a couple of season but I’m not going to spoil the story.

This season there was a bit where a character from the Bad Place is strategizing things that could be bad and one of them is this room where the New Yorker keeps coming and piling up, no matter how fast you read you can’t catch up.

My love/hate relationship with the New Yorker continues. Way more love than hate. More like love/exasperation.

Right now I’m powering through the summer double issue as fast as I can so I can go a whole week with no New Yorker. The double issues have this thing where they put short pieces in the middle of longer pieces.

I just realized that I cannot skip around in a magazine. I have to read from cover to cover. So when the article is interrupted I have to stop and read whatever is next and finish that before I go back to the first article. Yesterday I was reading a story that I wanted to finish but then it was interrupted.

“Just skip over and come back to this,” I told myself.

But I could not do it. I had to read the stuff out of order. Why does my brain work this way?

Last month was drier than normal and I was not on my watering game so I think my berries suffered a bit for it. One of the blue berries looks kinda sad, too.

The book is still there and still waking me up at night and still inching closer to completion. Backwards on the wordcount again.(GAH!)

67476 / 75000 words. 90% done!

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I Just Wish Someone Would Ask Me About My Privacy Settings

If you’re concerned about this website and privacy, please be assured that I haven’t the slightest idea how to exploit your privacy, nor do I have the time or energy to learn how, should I decide that your privacy could be of some use to me.

One item that’s been on my list forever is my passport. I knew it was expiring at the end of this year and I didn’t want to leave it for the last minute. But then I never got around to dealing with it. There’s a passport photo place downtown but it’s not super convenient. When the weather was terrible there was always an excuse not to go over there.

I finally set aside a day when I could go over and take care of it on my lunch break when I was informed that paperwork that was supposed to be delivered months ago, would arrive at the exact time I intended to get my passport photo.

Another couple of weeks went by and I was determined. When I looked up the address of the photo place to confirm I knew where it was, I found a passport photo place right next to the office. The whole thing took 10 minutes including the time to walk over there.

Renewal was sent off and new passport has arrived. I can go abroad. Someone buy me a ticket.

Tomatoes went into the ground this weekend. I planted four plants all from Territorial Seed because I had such great luck with them last year. (Non spon!) Katana and Bumble Bee are two. I can’t remember the other two. I wish I could write copy for tomato plants. “Our most delicious and beautiful and easy to grow and tasty and pretty and prolific tomatoes.” I originally put way more plants in my cart and I had to get a grip on my sanity.

Here’s an update on the neighbor situation:

It is one million percent improved. The party moved elsewhere. I have been sleeping with the windows open. (Please o please let me not jinks it by writing this.) There are still a wide variety of cars coming and going but I have no complaints. The renter and I talk when we see each other. One of the young people (wearing a fedora) said hello the other day. I am no longer stressed about the situation

The book is barely under control. If I die today, someone could look at my draft at have a clue what I was trying to do, but if I die today, please don’t look at it.

I still have a couple of major scenes to write, many scenes that need to be filled in, and lots of tidying up to do.

The hardest thing about this process letting things go around the house. Well, the hardest thing is all of it, but one main thing that gives me endless grief is being forced to abandon the yard and ignore clutter and be super half-assed about social interactions. I’m not the kind of person who can look at a giant basket of laundry and not fret about getting it done.

If all goes according to plan, this will be off to beta readers in a few weeks and I will take a very short break and enjoy some World Cup games before I buckle in to finalize it.

68591 / 75000 words. 91% done!

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Second Verse The Same As The First

My sister-in-law and I have the fun task of going through my mother-in-law’s recipes and cookbooks. That isn’t sarcasm. I am looking forward to it.

This is a preview from a cookbook she already gave me.

She is a big orange sherbet fan.

I am not. I love cold frosty desserts but I’d rather have nothing than sherbet.

I loved the annotation on this recipe.

I am still plodding in place on this thing: .

The meter is not reflective of the epic amount of work I’m putting into this. I am now waking up at 2am and fretting about it. At one point I came to the conclusion that it would have to be scrapped except then what?

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Enough With Terrible Websites

I uploaded this photo last weekend and then never had time to write a post.

Mother Nature schedules everything using my soccer schedule. Early season match in March? That calls for 40 degrees and driving rain for the duration. First midday match in May? Ninety degrees, you’re welcome!

I bought a sun hat and sprayed 45 spf all over my arms, feet, and neck-front and back: TWICE. Plus I put one of those waterproof 45 spf special for your face all over including my ears and into my hairline. We only had the sun on us for half the time and I was hot and sweaty but not lobstered.

Tomorrow we have a nooner but supposedly it will be 75 and partially cloudy. I’m still going to drench in sunscreen.

The Project of Everything: URGH. I am still losing more words than adding. I am still fighting back distress about the whole thing and giving myself positive feedback. Words are going to fly out of my brain when I need them, right? Hopefully a better update at the end of the weekend.

Today’s Technology Rager: My doctor clinic emailed me a note about a preventative exam I need to schedule. I can’t get into my account. It says my password is wrong.

I went to change password and they asked me a security question. I don’t have the slightest idea what answer I might have given since the thing does not exist for me. I probably made something up but when I do that, I usually write a note on this piece of paper next to my computer with approximately 9000 pieces of information that I need to get into websites. I wrote nothing on this item.

Now I’m all worked up and I couldn’t take care of the problem. I had to send an email to the help desk which says it will get back to me in 72 hours. Well, yahoo. What’s that? Monday?

I already know what they want from me because they also robocall me on it. Also: I ALREADY HAD THE EXAM AT THE CLINIC.

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Everything Changes, Everything Stays the Same

Here’s a shot of the irises. They only last about a week and they’re kind of a pain. I don’t know why I feel bad every time I accidentally pull some of them up. Pretty while they last.

Here’s Percy — look how cute his leaves are. I found some fig forums online so I will be learning everything about figs. People who love figs are very passionate about figs. People who don’t know about figs are sad.

This is a giant dark opening behind the alien bush and inside the hedges in the backyard. Every time I do yard work there, I imagine a growling clicky sound like you hear in a horror movie while some unsuspecting lady hums while gardening and a giant creature with claws and teeth gets ready to tear her apart.

If you don’t hear from me, that’s what happened.

Still trying to fix the 90% draft and some sad back tracking happened this week. I nuked two chapter because they were a huge mess and sometimes it’s better to jettison stuff than try to fix it.

64163 / 75000 words. 86% done!

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We’re at 98% of a Flimsy First Draft

My goal was to have a first draft by the end of the month and I’m mostly there. I’m still working on it. I have a series of about five scenes that are more framework than actual draft and I am still filling those out so this is even skinnier than I would normally refer to as a first draft but I need a win so I’m giving it to myself.

I have almost two full months to get ready for first readers and I am going to need it. I struggle with all of these books in different ways which is exasperating. I want to have figured this out.

In other news, I nuked my Instagram account. This article helped me decide because this is my experience. People are posting fewer photos and more stories and often the stories are too long and I HATE that herky-jerky thing — I don’t need to know what it’s called. Also the ads are creepy — I will talk about something, like say, pizza, and then a pizza ad pops up in my timeline. We were talking about the opioid crisis at the office and then a drug ad showed up in my timeline. Creepy.

I still have a Twitter account and I reluctantly log in about 5 minutes or less a day, except Timbers games, when I spend a lot of time logged in because I like being with people sharing my joy or my pain, depending on what the team is doing.

A fig tree’s first spring leaves. There will be lots of photos of Percy.

A couple of miscellaneous notes:

New Yorker story about heirloom beans. I love everything about beans: stories about heirloom beans and other people who like beans, cooking beans, eating beans, pictures of beans, bean recipes, the bean store. I make lots of different kinds but generally we’re perfectly happy with pinto beans.

Neighbor report: woke me up again last night. *sigh*

I don’t know what’s going on with my word count meter. It was gone and then it came back and last time I checked it was gone again. Here’s a different one:

66254 / 75000 words. 88%

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And Boy Are My Arms Tired

Back in the days when we had plants out front.

I thought I would work some soil amendment in and prep this area for planting. When you have giant bushes for 20+ years the dirt turns into a massive root ball. I spent over two hours trying to get this cleaned up–chopping and yanking at roots and more roots. That was all of the upper body strength I had saved up for yard work on Friday. Me and my noodle arms retreated inside for a much deserved icy cold beer and Day 1 of NCAA gymnastics finals.

But I checked the weather and it appeared that Saturday was going to be rain and cool so I heaved my weary ass back out there to clean up the garden spot since I didn’t know when I would have time and good weather again. I pulled weeds and mixed in fertilizer. Then I did that thing where I found all my old seeds and flung them out there. Plus I bought a ton of new seeds. I carefully read the directions and then completely ignored them. Thrive or die vegetables!

A few more hours later I staggered back in the house. I was completely filthy so I took shower, whimpering as I tried to raise my arms above my head to shampoo my hair. I was still tired on Saturday. There is an endless amount of work to do out there but I feel some sense of accomplishment.

Will have to do word count update later. It’s not impressive but still inching forward.

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Cooking Along

Yesterday was my favorite day of the year: First home match of the season. It was a typical first match, raining and cold which is why I failed to take very many photos. I might brush off my pocket camera and bring it to a match. I think it takes better photos than the phone.

Here is the rhodie update: it’s completely dead. I asked the landscaper about taking it out and he pushed the trunk and it broke off at the spot where the shrub met the dirt. It’s gone and we now have nothing in front of our house. I expect to remedy that but first I need to do some household due diligence/maintenance/pain in the butt stuff –long story.

Everything in life: TBD.

This is the view from my bus stop. That high rise in progress used to be a gas station.

For the first time in ages I am trying a new recipe. I am making beef broth from some bones I had in the freezer leftover from a fancy dinner a couple months ago. It smells AMAZING. I keep finding an excuse to go in the kitchen and give it a stir. But the real recipe is onion soup. I’m doing a Cooks Illustrated method of cooking the onions in the Dutch oven in the oven. We’re in about 70 minutes so far. That smells good, too.

I had my most productive writing weekend in months and months. I am plodding more quickly. But now my brain is mush and I’m still trying to tie up loose ends.

Looks like this counter works again and I like it better because seeing that percentage thing go up gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

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