Category Archives: doing it wrong

Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #2

I successfully completed my week #2 goal which was 7 days of no writing. I cheated a tiny bit one day when I accidentally read an article about dialogue. As soon as I realized it, I shut my browser.

During my break, I did all kinds of things that I normally never do: I hung out downtown with my sweetie and saw Malcom Terence read at Powell’s, I went to a happy hour celebration for one of my sweetie’s colleagues, I watched epic amounts of World Cup soccer, I finished three books that I had sitting around here half finished since January, I went to the Farmer’s Market, I went to see Isle of Dogs.

It went by fast.

I’m back at it again, working on cleaning the ms. up. I have not done any marketing things yet but I’m sincere in my intent to do so soon.

Thanks to everyone who donated so far. Still plenty of time and all donations are appreciated. Here are links for me and my classmates and workshop administrators.

me
Theresa
Maggie
Carol
Tracy
Leslie
Neile

Lots of other writers — find someone to sponsor here: The Group.

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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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The Models Are Real

Something is snacking on my daffodils

A couple of years ago I bought this weird bra at a local big box store. It’s cut like a sports bra but not made for sports. I don’t know what to call it. Maybe a bralette? It’s not lacy but has cute stripes. I like to wear it on the weekend.

I have never been able to find another bra like it at the box store. I’ve tried several similar bras but they were never as good or as cute as the first one.

Then I tried ordering one online that was super cute and very comfortable but my boobs end up sneaking out the bottom. (Is this TMI?)

A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me that I have access to a brazillion bras with a few click clicks of my computer. Why not expand my search?

I still haven’t found anything I love but the comment I wanted to make is that some places have regular looking people for models. Women with different shapes and freckles and muffin tops. Yeah sure, there were places with athletic slender models, too. But muffin tops! That made me really happy.

Final note: this week I ran across this article several times — it says that doing dishes causes the most relationship distress. Not for me. I don’t mind dishes at all. I’ve even written about it before. I hate planning, preparing, and cooking dinner. My favorite weeknights are when I don’t have to cook. I also hate ironing but I hardly ever do it so it doesn’t count.

I am on a roll with Book #3 at the moment. Current progress:

51475 / 75000
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The House with Sad Plants Out Front

Look — sad tulips. I have these two plus one more with ragged green leaves that look like they narrowly escaped a garbage disposal. I have the world’s longest list of projects and problems to solve that I will tackle as soon as I finish these books. (So, starting in summer of 2019.) “Improve bulb situation” is on the list.

I never got an apple tree either but I have a huge hole in my backyard. I impulsively bought a fistful of seed packets because that always works out well. After my great tomato success of last summer (scroll down past the dog) I bought four (4!) tomato plants online including a cherry tomato that is supposed to be VERY PROLIFIC.

Place your bets here by which date I will be complaining about cherry tomatoes.

Now look at the sad rhodie. It’s shown signs of giving up on us for several years. Then we had his bush companion removed and he’s never been the same. Now we will be one of those sad houses with nothing planted out front. Except for the fig tree. As soon as Percy sprouts leaves there will be more photos.

I might be back on track with the book. Every time I say that I get thrown off again so I’m not going to elaborate. It looks like the word count thing I was using died so I’m trying a new one. I’m still writing out of order but this is close:

44290 / 75000
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