Category Archives: doing it wrong

Wailing Away on the Wall

I finally have daffodils out front and the ones in back are just starting to bloom.

I don’t believe fish oil capsules do anything but I’m taking one a day anyway. I bought a different brand and I started tasting citrus around bedtime and I would try to remember what I ate — maybe a lemon cookie? I finally figured out it was my fish oil.

Since I’m still having trouble chewing I did some research on meal replacement foods, and wow is that a rabbit hole. Weight loss, weigh gain, vegan, prepper — you name it, you can find it. I finally settled on the grocery store brand nutrition drink. It’s not terrible. It’s not my main meal planning but a handy thing to have around if I’m not getting enough to eat.

I made Irish soda bread for dinner tonight. The recipe said to let it rest and I wandered off and let it get dried out. We had a little side explosion here. It tasted good and had a decent crumb. No one complained.

Book went to first readers this afternoon. I’m easing up a little bit this week and taking next weekend off for family fun. But then I need to kick back into gear. It needs to be finalized for editing by April 21.

70880 / 75000 words. 95% done!

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Apple Blossom Time

Meet our NEW APPLE TREE Sybil!!

I bought a 4-way variety but if I understand the little tags on the branches, we got 5! Don’t tell anyone. They might come over and snip off one of the branches. Or maybe it’s supposed to be like that? I’ll learn more later.

Gala-Braeburn-Honeycrisp-Fuji-Red McIntosh. Apples in 2-3 years so after I get my braces off but before I retire. I will keep you updated.

69392 / 75000 words. 93% done!

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I Miss Crunchy

This is the food cart lot across the street from last week’s photo. I don’t know how much longer they have but I understand the luxury condos and five star hotel are still on.

I still haven’t whacked back my roses. Normally I would have done it by now but it’s too cold and I don’t want to work in the brisk wind. Plus, from what I can see when I look out the window, it doesn’t look like they’re doing anything yet.

Also normally at this time of year, I have a photo from my second Christmas, opening day of Timbers. But we’re adding seats to our stadium so no first match until June 1st. I watched them on TV yesterday. They played in 16 degrees, snow coming down weather in Colorado. I was cold watching them.

I told ticket partner: thank goodness we didn’t get some bright idea to travel away to the match since we have to wait so long here.

My team gave up a goal in stoppage time to draw. AND WE ARE BACK!

I’ve gone past our stadium a couple of times on the train and it looks amazing. As soon as it’s over 50 degrees, ticket partner and I plan to go up there and take some photos and test my pizza eating ability.

I got top braces in December and lived with those for a month before I got the bottom braces in January. I wildly underestimated what my life would be like with braces. Consuming any type of food is extremely unpleasant. My bite is messed up so it’s hard to chew. My front teeth are sensitive so it’s hard to bite. Hence the pizza test. I’m hoping if I can cut off bits with a knife, I can eat them. If not, I don’t what we’re going to do since the pre-match pizza eating ritual has been going on for 7 or 8 years. Ticket partner joked that I could scrape off and eat just the topping or ask them if they make pizza in a bowl.

Insert 1000 crying emojis.

Last week I tried to eat my favorite carbonara and it took about 45 minutes to eat one quarter of it so I brought it home to Bob.

I have a list of the things I will be eating when these come off, around the summer of 2020. The first celebratory meal will be at Brunch Box and it will be the bacon cheeseburger where the buns are made out of grilled cheese sandwiches. Other items on the list: chips, cookies, Moose Munch, See’s Candy with toffee or nuts, crackers. I’m sure I’ll be adding more.

I am in the zone on my project. Making lots of great progress. Two more weekends before it goes to first readers.

68070 / 75000 words. 91% done!

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Smooth Out Everything

This cart is long gone. I only went to it a couple of times. It was replaced by a cart called Food Koma (I think?) and I went there all the time. They had a delicious bibimbap dish but they called it something else. Every time I have a good bibimbap source, it goes away.

But the real news is that this little cart pod is now a hole in the ground because apparently downtown Portland needs yet another boutique hotel. The big pod across the street is in danger, too. Last I heard the luxury apartment and condo tower was on hold, but who knows.

It’s been awhile since I mentioned the rental house next door. You might have thought our problems were solved. We were cautiously optimistic. It was quiet over there for months. Maybe loud voices in the yard now and then and still a number of different cars, but nothing to legit complain about.

But then it ramped up again. Lots of different cars again. Not like all different cars coming and going. More like 5-6 of the same cars, often parked overnight. On Valentine’s night (or technically early hours of the 15th) there was shouting and swearing out front for over a half hour together with car door slamming.

It’s been quieter this weekend. It feel like it gets bad unless we stay on top of it.

Meanwhile, I have had an epic writing weekend and I am pooped. I got the last big long troublesome section cleaned up. At this point I have to go back clean up some smaller bits, lots of continuity to fix and then smooth out everything.

But other than that, it’s under control.

66688 / 75000 words. 89% done!

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Never Argue with a ChatBot

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!

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Only My Pants Could Save Me

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!

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Learn From A Loaf

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.

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Free Book Promotion January 26-27, 2019

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

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Old Married People Report

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!

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Where Would We Be Without Books?

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.

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