Tag Archives: neighbors

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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Giant Project is Finished. Almost

Project went to the editor on Sunday. I’m still catching up on everything. I updated my list and put about 30 things on it. This weekend will be all projects and errands and some social stuff.

Oddly, I’m itching to get into the next book. Weird.

This evening I went out and took a whole bunch of garden update photos and my camera card died. I feel like technology is abandoning me this week. I’ll try again another day. I ran out and took this with my phone. This blue hubbard squash is going to make so many things.

A couple of weeks ago I tried a new recipe using a pork roast and tomatillos, green chiles, and a bunch of other stuff. You throw it in the slow cooker all day.

I was describing the recipe to colleague and he missed the part where I said to take the meat out and shred it. He just heard, put the immersion blender in it and go to town. He’s like: What? This doesn’t sound good at all.

It was funny at the time but now that I type it out is seems stupid.The recipe was delicious.

Two weekends ago were very bad with the neighbors, partying until 5am on Friday and then 3am on Saturday. A different neighbor complained (yay!) and it’s been quiet ever since except for last night some people came in at midnight — just loud enough to wake me up. Their capacity to be social and active in the middle of the night is amazing.

I got up and closed the windows. Woke up at 3am and was hot and stuffy so opened them back up. Bob had a technology malfunction at 4am and woke me up and then the alarm goes off at 5:15a. Needless to day, I’m not my normal sparkling self.

More updates this weekend.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Today is the end of Clarion West 2018, Week #4.

I am full meal deal, pedal to the metal working on cleaning up the manuscript. I enjoy this part but I’m not very fast so it’s hard to find any satisfaction in the work when I see how far I need to go.

I have done some super baby steps marketing tasks. I will do more. Yay, marketing.

I don’t know why I update the progress meter because I’m not writing for word count now. I’m trying to replace bad stuff with better stuff. The visual is encouraging.

72373 / 75000 words. 96% done!

There is still plenty of time to donate to Clarion West. They are grateful for all donations large and small. Links to me and my classmates and workshop leaders below.


Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

According to my latest progress report, there are over 200 participating writers and they’ve raised just shy of $12,000. Thanks everyone for your support.

Do I have neighbor news? Yeah. I’ll make it quick.

A different neighbor is remodeling and the process filled a giant truck with debris. This truck was parked in front of our house. At first I didn’t mind: it’s a public street, she’s doing a project, this is a short term thing. Except 4 days later the truck was still there and there was plenty of room to park the truck in front of her house. She came over while I was at work and profusely apologized to Bob and said she’d been calling the haulers to get that thing out of here or at least move it in front of her house. Then I wasn’t mad anymore. The truck didn’t bother me. It bothered me when I thought yet another neighbor was being inconsiderate.

The next door situation isn’t any worse but still not optimal. Last night at about 9:30pm I cautiously opened the window, ready to enjoy a cool breeze in the bedroom. “Dare I push my luck?” I said to Bob. It was all quiet over there. Five minutes later cars drove up and people started smoking and talking and shouting. “I dare not.” Windows closed. This morning Bob said a car pulled up to that house and three people got out with open containers and carrying a six pack. Maybe I’m just jealous of their leisure time.

World Cup Final TOMORROW! I’m interrupting project BOOK 3 for that.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #3

Today is the end of Clarion West 2018, Week #3.

I am still spending almost every spare second working on cleaning up the manuscript. Every time I go out in my yard I want to cry. There is a big jumble of stuff growing–dahlias, pumpkins, peas, sunflowers, weeds, weeds, weeds. The roses desperately need deadheading. Everything neglected. That’s just how it’s going to be right now.

Sorry, I have not done one marketing thing except think about much I dread marketing. I have three weeks to do better.

Here is the current progress meter:

72168 / 75000 words. 96% done!

Working on these big projects reminds me of this teacher I had in high school, Mr. Lasnik. He taught science classes, and he was a true college prep instructor. His classes were tough, but I loved him as a teacher and learned so much from him — not just biology and physiology but also about how to approach research and studying. He assigned these monster research papers. Back in those days we had to get our parents to drive us to the university library to find articles and make copies. We had to bring bags full of nickels. I remember when the report was almost due I used to think: I will be so mad if I die before I get to turn this in.

That’s what I think when I get to the end of a book.

Fireworks snakes of disappointment. Or Burning Turds, as I called them.

In other news — it was weird having a day off in the middle of the week. I kept thinking it was the weekend. I thought about taking Thursday off but I figured it would be dead at work and I could have an easy day. HA HA! I was busy all day. Now it’s the weekend, and I am still confused about where we are in time.

Bob talked Denise and me into going to the fireworks tent with him. I’m glad we did. It was complete insanity but in a fun way. There was a line to get inside and then the line to check out wrapped around the entire store. There were people with shopping carts piled with fireworks.

I think this was the last year. This year we couldn’t have fireworks in the city limits (our house), and I think next year not in the county (bro/sis-in-law’s house). I understand all the reasons for outlawing them, and I’m happy about it, but it is fun to have a day where all the neighbors are outside and blowing stuff up.

What is the latest with the neighbor situation? Thank you for asking.

A couple of weeks ago they woke me up at 2:30 am on a Tuesday night. It was some obviously drunk people screaming out front. I phoned the renter to complain. We’re trying to be reasonable about this but 2:30 on a school night is not cool. She was very friendly and apologetic and said she would deal with it.

And then Sunday night 2:00 am the same thing. This time I called the leasing agent. When I got home from work, their lawn was mowed, the driveway swept, and a single car parked out front.

The following weekend I heard someone drive up in the middle of the night. The car doors went: SLAM! SLAM! SLAM!


Even though I was awake, I wasn’t mad, because some tried to be quiet. Peaceful since then. Well, there was some sort of drumming and singing one night but it didn’t go on for long. (whew!)

Trees caught fire in the neighborhood. Terrifying to watch. Fire department got it under control quick. We walked up there the next day and no buildings were damaged which was a miracle.

There is still plenty of time to donate to Clarion West. They are grateful for all donations large and small. Links to me and my classmates and workshop leaders below.


Or pick other writers that interest you: The Group.

If you prefer to send a check here’s an address:
P.O. Box 31264
Seattle, WA 98103-1264

According to my latest progress report, there are 200 participating writers and they’ve raised over $9000. Thanks everyone for your support.

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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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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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Might Be Halfway

We bought four blueberry plants last year and this is the early one. We had a little bit of snow last night and I intended to get out there and get a photo but I was too distracted by writing and the sun has melted almost all of it away.

The goal for the weekend was to get a handle on everything I have so far and hopefully be at least halfway. I’m still not sure if I’m there yet. I rearranged some things which meant I needed to rearrange other things so I’m only about halfway to my goal of being halfway. As soon as I hit post I’m going right back to it.

If you haven’t heard from me, that’s why. The situation will not improve for some time.

This is the flowerbed out front. These will be daffodils and tulips. I meant to throw more bulbs in last fall but I don’t think I ever got around to it.

Here’s the latest on the neighbor situation. After the party I did some research and talked to the leasing agent and learned how to make a non-emergency phone call to the police. I didn’t know you could do that. So the following weekend when I was woken up again in the middle of the night, I called the police. I honestly hated to do it and there was lots of handwringing but I figured if there was going to be change someone had to do something.

I do not know what happened but the tenant came over and introduced herself this weekend and apologized for the noise and left a phone number. She has a son. They woke me up again but it was before midnight so I sucked it up. This is me trying to be reasonable. But at least we have a dialogue so looks like there is hope.

This is the daffodil situation in the backyard. That one little flower. When it snowed the flower drooped over and was buried in the tiny accumulation. This is a metaphor for everything.

I haven’t even had time to watch much Olympics. It seems like whenever I remember to turn on my DVR it’s a bunch of things I don’t care to watch. I have a list of skating programs I want to go back and find online but I haven’t gotten to that either.

Hope you’re keeping your feet warm.

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Sunshine on the Water

Destination reunion weekend turned out spectacular. Sunshine and beach views were incredible.

It was fun to spend time with people I share history with – there were a lot of great memories and laughter. It was also validating to be in a room of all women my age and most of them didn’t understand how their smart phones worked, either.

The only problem with going away is coming back. I’m still trying to get my act back together. The writing project has stalled and I haven’t managed to get it restarted yet. Oof.

It’s a predictable part of my process but I panic every time which leads to more stalling which makes me panic more. Not a great loop to be stuck in. I’m hoping some good quality sleep and a healthy diet and some magical beans will get me going again.

Last night there was another party at the rental house next door. I thought things had settled down over there. It seemed like there were semi-regular cars parked out front. They woke me up at 2:30 and kept going until 4am when they moved to the front and then stood around talking and shouting and laughing for another half hour. I am now regretful that I did not complain at the beginning. I hate being confrontational but I also hate being woken up by people who aren’t even pretending they care about being considerate. That is all changing. Knowing my luck these will be the kind of people who react by putting dog poop on my lawn and throwing rocks at my car.

There was a commuter bus that was scheduled for 5 minutes after my work day ends. Every day I would walk up the hill to catch this bus and every day it would pass me going to the next stop. I started leaving my desk a few minutes early hoping to catch it. I still missed it.

I began to build up some major outrage that the bus was so consistently leaving ahead of schedule.

Then I remembered that time this lady complained that her bus was late every single day and I suggested that if it was late every single day, maybe she was expecting it at the wrong time. I checked the bus schedule and guess what? It was changed five minutes earlier. “File complaint about bus” has been removed from my list.

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Keeping Up with the Neighbors

I call this one: Giant Slug with Favorite Shoes and Socks

I feel like I spend half of one weekend day sitting here dealing with random details. I’ve been here all morning trying to get started on writing but then finding something that I need to take care of while I have a chance.

Here’s the latest on the rental house next door: The house seems abandoned Sunday-Wednesday with no cars parked or activity of any kind. Thursday-Saturday is the opposite with numerous cars parked there and coming and going and only a couple of regulars.

A few weeks ago they had a big loud party on a Friday night that lasted until who knows when? The last time I woke up was 1:30a. I thought about going over there except I would have had to find pants and shoes and glasses and it was easier to stay home and complain about it later. The next week we phoned the leasing agent to let her know that there was a lot of activity over there and we weren’t even sure who lived there.

She was surprised since she rented the house to a single woman who said she traveled a lot on business. Leasing agent supposedly phoned to let them know the neighbors expressed concern and there have been no other major get togethers since. Coincidentally the weather cooled at the same time so it’s not as likely to have a big loud group in the backyard. So, at this point, the noise hasn’t been a problem but there are still a lot of different cars parked overnight.

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Clarion West Beg-A-Thon Week #4

Klamath River upriver from Orleans, July 2017

So to clarify, I am updating my progress for week #3. We are starting week #4 today.

My work flow was out of whack due to a my trip to California. But I did the following:

1. I finished the teaser story for the romance series. It’s shorter than expected but a clean draft so shouldn’t be too much work to get it ready for distribution.

2. I worked on polish and fixing on the romance manuscript. I also figured out a fix to some of the things that were bothering me about the ending.

3. I didn’t do the blurb. I can’t help it, I keep avoiding the blurb. I did epic administrivia and worked in the yard during the hottest part of the day. I found all sorts of things to do instead of work on the blurb. I’ve got 2 more weeks.

I am going to abandon the idea of revisions to the spec fic short story that I have been submitting. I only have 2 more weekends to get the manuscript finished so all my attention will be devoted to that.

Same general area. Klamath River upriver from Orleans, March 2017

The rental house next door is empty again. I am assuming it will be rented again. That will make the 9th tenants in 15 years. We’ve been lucky the last couple of times. We’ll see how our luck holds out.

We also had baby raccoons in the yard this morning. It was daylight so I was a little worried about them. We have a big hedge and no one is next door so I hope they found a safe place to hide. They make a cute chittery sound, like Tribbles.

Here’s all my classmates again if you’ve considered donating but haven’t gotten around to it yet:


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