Monthly Archives: September 2020

9-22-2020

eBay Sales: 0

Craft Projects Completed: 0 (4 rows on my scarf before my wrists got angry)

Dead Bulb Watch: 17 Days and counting

#MilWordy Update: 43,371 words

You know the best thing about short story collections? If you don’t like one story, you can just skip ahead to the next one. I have trouble with writing short stories though. I tend to have deep tangled plots in my brain and compressing that down is an issue. Endings are the hardest part of any story or book and trying to keep on track for a short story means that I really feel the need to write it in one sitting. My most successful stories have been written that way. Like a torrent of word pressing out and onto the page. It normally takes about an hour or two. I suppose that means I just really need to force myself to sit down and write something. If I try I might get rid of some of my works in progress that have been hanging out on my hard-drive. I owe a few for GFP. And I really want to work on the Jules Verne related story. I had a great idea after watching that lovely version of the Fugue and Toccata in D Minor that I had as the Sunday Night music this weekend. It’s about the tech on Nemo’s sub who had to maintain the organ.

I think I’ve found this week’s Sunday Night music too. Work has a restricted list of music available. (Think along the lines of a retail job where you can only choose between like 10 CDs. Enough to keep you from going absolutely off your rocker, but not enough to actually let you find something you love.) I’ve been listening to the concert set they did from Brazil. I’m going to leave it to be a surprise though.

I called in because my CT was giving me troubles this morning. I don’t know what I did to it, but spending the entire day using a mouse and keyboard sounded like the worst possible idea ever.

Today we removed the legacy equipment from an old alarm system that was just going off randomly. (System has been replaced, but the old equipment was still in place.) Managed to get it off without too much trouble. And we happen to have enough tiles to fix the backsplash too. Not that that will happen any time soon. Oh, I need to remember to pick up mastic and black grout. Next big project for me is to regrout my bathroom and redo the caulk. It has some sort of red dye on it and I don’t know where it came from because I’ve never actually dyed my hair in there. I can only think it must have come off of a towel or maybe it was in a shampoo or something? Anyway, I need to take off the caulk and redo it. Now that I know to use blue tape that will be a much easier job.

  • Note: If you’re going to recaulk your tub. (Check out a Youtube vid, if you need the visuals)
    • Step 1, use a razor and remove the old caulk.
    • Step 2, clean the surface of the tub and the tile.
    • Step 3, fill the tub with water.
    • Step 4. while the tub is filling, line the edge of the tub and the tile with blue tape, leaving just the line of where you want the caulk to be free between them
    • Step 5, Once the tub is full and the blue tape is in place, run a bead of caulk around the edge of the tub. You will want a caulk gun for this.
    • Step 6, Lick your finger and spread the caulk flat in the area between the two rows of blue tape
    • Step 7, Pull off the blue tape
    • Step 8, Leave the tub full and unused for 24 hours.
    • Step 9, Drain the water and enjoy your tub

And thus, if I can help someone else, my time today has been well-spent. My wrist is getting annoyed again, so it’s time for another break. Talk to y’all tomorrow.

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9-21-2020

eBay Sales: mixer attachment, cookie cutters

Craft projects completed: 0 (no progress to note either)

Dead Bulb Count: 16 Days

#MilWordy Update: 42,842 words

Well, I saw my circle of friends today, even if it was at a distance and in lawn chairs. It was fun to actually talk to people without a screen in the way. It makes reading body posture and reactions a lot easier, even if we were all masked up.

The weather has changed and it’s now actual long-sleeve weather outside. Although, if I dress for outside, I’ll broil inside at work. The light has changed too. It’s sharper now, more clear as you drive along. The leaves haven’t started to shift yet, but I can see them yearning to do so. The road I took today was covered with a canopy of leaves and the light flittered in and out between them as I went. It was at that awkward driving angle, where the  light is just in your eyes and no hat or sunshade or sunglasses will truly make it not an issue. Some people seem to think that it’s the light itself that makes everything sepia toned in the fall, but I think it’s more of the sun’s angle makes my brain kick in with the perception filters.

I love the sharpness of fall light. Maybe it’s the lack of humidity in the air. Maybe it’s the angles of refraction. Maybe it’s just that my brain is more excitable in the fall season, but it’s here and screw pumpkin spice, I want to sit and paint the world. Not the great sweeping vistas of landscapes, but the tight focus on the geese which are starting to congregate, or the happy little flock of sparrows that was on the railing outside of work and didn’t bother to fly away when I walked by, secure in their numbers and that I was not a threat. The baby grasshoppers that were hopping around the stairs at work are now full grown and no longer neon green. The air is cleaner, even though I know that it’s my high season and the masks are saving my lungs.

I want to dance and play in piles of dead leaves. I want to pretend my friends and I are spies, using the leaves as camouflage as we use old ftizted out walkie-talkies to make codes and practice the morse that’s printed on the front of the case. I want to climb up the side of the building and jump down on knees that don’t hurt. And I want to play with the kittens which will never be mine, letting them crawl up my shoulder and snuggle into my arms. It’s an idyllic memory of being a child, wrapped in the nostalgia of the new school year and the creeping edges of summer bleeding into fall before the bitter winds of winter come in. Winter is it’s own beauty and majesty. But fall has Halloween and Thanksgiving. It has bonfires and spiced cider and crisp apples.

And I need to get this post out today, so I’ll close with a quiet wish for happy fall memories to bless you all.

G’night, cousins.

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Sunday Night Music: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

There are very few pieces of music which make me want to wax poetic. This is probably my favorite piece of classical music. And while most people can probably recognize the opening — it’s associate with a lot of horror movies — they don’t always recognize the rest of it. For a piece that seems foreboding at the beginning, it resolves into one of the most beautiful and uplifting songs. The mathematical purity of the song is one of its strengths. And it is progress and light and forward movement and call and answer, and a hundred other things that match the soaring cathedral halls that are meant to contain it. As an organ piece it simply swells to fill the space around it echoing and building on itself. It is sublime.

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September 20, 2020 · 11:25 pm

9-20-2020

eBay Sales: collectable car

Craft Projects Completed: 0 (but I did get a few rows knitted)

Dead Bulb Count: 15 Days (paused until Monday)

#MilWordy Update: 40,992 (Look how close we are to 50K and it’s not been a full month yet.)

I spent most of the day working on eBay things. I did enough listings to fill two boxes to go down to the storage shelves. Then, I went through the boxes of things for sale to find anything having to do with Halloween or Christmas and brought those upstairs. It’s amazing how many items are just waiting for me to list and send off to new homes. It’s a satisfying to see things leaving the house. At the same time, I’ve been through my stacks of items several times in order to find items to go to Goodwill and other thrift stores.

I’m doing my best to sell things before sending them off to a thrift shop though, since I know that they’re overloaded. Heck, Goodwill is just selling pallets of unsorted donations to people. That is a sure sign that they’re overloaded. Everyone who’s been off has had the chance to do some spring cleaning. I’m only donating things that I can’t ship easily. Or things that will be better if someone can touch them. For example, if I want to get rid of a large poster frame, it makes sense to send it to the thrift shop as opposed to trying to ship it.

I’m going to start exploring Facebook marketplace for things, but I just don’t really want to spend time on Facebook these days. It’s just been getting to be a stressful swirl for the past few months. I want to keep in contact with the few people I have no other contact information for, but I just can’t see that happening if I leave Facebook completely. I’m going to need to think about whether or not I really want to stay in contact with people who aren’t actually friends. I’m fairly certain that being sure that not having contact information beyond being FB friends means that we’re not close enough that I should worry about. Ug. I hate big decisions like that.

Other than eBay stuff, it’s been a pretty bland day. I’m about to launch into some sprints (along with a video of someone else doing the same thing) just to keep myself writing. I’m getting a little behind on my schedule, but I’m still under 2800 words per day. As long as I keep it there or lower, I’ll survive. I can do about 1K in a 25 minute sprint and I’m going to make sure I do at least 2 sessions with a friend (via Discord) this week to keep myself moving forward.

And check it out, I’m on a streak that’s 20 days long. I think that may be the longest daily blogging I’ve ever managed, if you don’t count pre-scheduled posts like the writing from prompts I’ve been doing. Which reminds me, we’re about due one of those aren’t we?

The fandom story I’m working on has turned into a meditation on agency and I’m not sure how deep it’s going to get. It’s also got characters airing out emotions and issues and finding resolution before their mission because mission mindset means you don’t walk into a mission without eliminating the negative energies. It’s surprisingly mature for the team, but it also means that all of the little things that could be used against them can’t be. They’re no longer weaknesses if they’ve been talked out. Even if the issues aren’t completely healed, at least everyone’s taking the time to process them before they become a problem.

And I’m trying my hand at building actual emotional and mental health consequences for the histories of the characters. It’s good practice for when I’m working on original stories.

That’s my plug for why fanfiction is a good thing by the way. It lets the author test out plotting and character reactions without having to come up with all of the world and character details. They can take two characters from their stock, put them into a situation and play around without how things work out. And it’s not the investment it would be if you were creating characters from scratch. It lets and author play with tone and type of writing. You’ll rarely find me writing in present tense because I’ve tried it out in fanfic and I don’t like how it flows or feels unless I’m deep inside someone’s head and/or it’s a mental breakdown or a dream. It gives stories a very strange feeling and it might be useful in a horror short story, but a full novel would make me want to throw my computer out the window.

I’m stepping off my very short soapbox now. TTFN.

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9-9-2020

eBay sales: gravy boat

Craft Projects completed: None

Dead Bulb Count: 15 Days (Paused until Monday)

#MilWordy Update: 40,953

A rather bland day overall today. But hey, I’ve been blogging every day even if it’s not brilliant. 🙂

Have a good weekend.

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9-18-2020

eBay Sales: Lemax Spooky Town Undertaker’s Carriage

Craft Projects Completed: Folded all of my Halloween Cards

Dead Bulb Count: 15 Days (Will pause here until Monday)

#MilWordy Update: 39,035

I’ll just say this: it does not inspire confidence when the public restroom stall you enter has a plunger in the corner. Not that it stopped me, because obviously there was a reason to be there. And it didn’t fulfill its dire promise, but still.

Had to go into work for a half-hour meeting. So, I had to drive in and back for just the one meeting. This does not make much sense, but what do I know.

On the plus side, I did get my microphone today. I haven’t plugged it in and tested it yet, but it’s made it to the house. And I visited Spirit Halloween. I went into a bit of a drance and spent a little more money than I should, but they had the most gorgeous beaded shawl in the 20’s section. And I highly recommend the art on their tarot cards. They’re a little dark-side, but beautiful. And it’s a Halloween store, so I couldn’t help but pick up a few other things.

Including a pair of neon pink fingerless gloves from the 80’s section. Seriously, I lived through that era. I needed them.

I must applaud their retro 50’s/60’s alien section. They had little silver deely boppers and a wonderful ray gun. It’s an underserved market for costuming. And can be so adorable. If I were going to do something other than go to work, I would totally have put together something like that.

Jumping back in time to the JoAnn’s visit yesterday, there was this most beautiful dusty rose with a touch of sparkle stretch fabric and an overlay fabric with the same color pallet, and I figured out what I want to do with it. I need to figure out the actual dress pattern, but I think I might be able to pull it off for a reasonable amount. (The overlay material is $30/yd. I can’t manage that, but I could maybe to half a yard and use it for a vest accent as opposed to an overskirt. And now I’m thinking that I could just do a shirt and not even do a full dress. Oh, I need to check through the patterns in the basement STAT.)

Other than that, today has basically been me writing out my Halloween cards. I’m proud of myself for actually getting something done ahead of time. I even have Halloween stamps to put on them that were delivered today. I’m debating whether or not to send them out on Monday, but I think I’m going to do that. Just so they’re to everyone at the beginning of October as opposed to the end. And I have a sneaking suspicion that a few of them have the wrong address on them, which will let me weed out the problems before the end of October and before Christmas card season. That’s my next random project that needs to fit into the middle of everything.

The Washington Post finally wore me down and I now have a digital subscription. I looked at two headlines and my blood pressure skyrocketed. What have I done to myself?

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9-17-2020

eBay Sales: None

Craft Projects completed: 0 (Though I went to JoAnnes today and ended up getting some clay. For free even. It was cool. Their Deco line for Halloween has some beautiful pieces in it — things which can just go right into your home decor. Check it out on line. It’s been described as Gatsby meets Addams Family.)

Dead Bulb Count: 13 Days (paused because I didn’t go in today)

#MilWordy Update: 35,873 words

It’s been a bit of a filler day. The sort of day that would be glossed over in the book you’re reading. It probably wouldn’t even be mentioned. Unless what I was picking up on my errands was necessary to the plot. Like, “she stopped at the craft shop and picked up the clay for the productive pendants” or something like that. “She sped shopped through the grocery store to stock up for the coming programming binge.”

It’s been more than a week of #MilWordy now and I have to say that it’s at least reaching my goal, which was to write every day. I have been not going to bed before at least doing a blog post. That is the bare minimum, but it’s a lot better than going months without putting fingers to keyboard. I’m closer to finishing a Nano before November even. It breaks down to doing just about 2700-2800 words per day to meet the final deadline. That’s an average. So, there’s some days when my production is down low and others when it’s rather high. And of course, there are those days when nothing gets done just because work has killed my brain. But then there are those days when I can spill out several thousand words without even thinking about it. I have a non-publishable story that’s gotten itself a plot that was missing. (Non-publishable AKA fandom-related.) And I’ve developed another new character to feature in short stories. She might develop into something of a short-story collection, or be featured in the Patreon offerings.

Shout out to my fellow Jules Verne fans who are writers — Golden Fleece Press is doing a Jules Verne inspired anthology and still needs stories! So, if you stroll on over and submit with the usual guideline just make sure Jules Verne is in the subject line. “Submission: Jules Verne : Title of Story : Last name” is the preferred. That way it’s going to get to the right reader. I’ll let you all know when it comes out too. I’m very excited for it. And might just end up writing for it myself. I mean, I’ve got to do something to get to my word count every day right?

Also, a review of my new Chroma keyboard from Razor. I’m loving it. It’s got an excellent number pad and the main keyboard is a dream to type on. It’s got a lovely touch. And you can’t beat a light-up keyboard for room abieance. It shifts through the rainbow and paints the walls with color-ringed shadows when the lights are low. It also means that I’m not trying to type a million words on my laptop keyboard. That’s not to say that I haven’t done that, but this is just so much easier.

I’m waiting on Best Buy to tell me that my microphone is in so I can pick it up and start working on the audio-books for Cherry Blossom Express. I’ve been trying to get a microphone for ages, but it was backordered and then they cancelled my order. (Without bothering to inform me, or to tell me which of the gift-cards they charged the money back to. Inquiring minds want to know.) I’m supposed to be able to pick it up from the store on Saturday. Then, I just need to find a good teleprompter program. Any thoughts folks?

I guess that’s about it. TTFN

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9-16-2020

eBay sales: collectable figurine

Craft Project Completed: 0

Dead Bulb Count: 13 Days (paused here because I will not be going in tomorrow)

#MilWordy update: 35,787

And… that’s about it. This almost became a treatise on why vampirism is a criticism of Catholicism, but I actually want to cite it and maybe submit it somewhere, so, that’s being excised into a separate place.

I have a new character and I think she’s for short stories, but we’ll have to see what I manage to turn out tomorrow.

 

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9-15-2020

eBay Sales: Madame Alexander doll, honey dripper, and a KitchenAid bowl shield

Craft Projects completed: 0 – Again, I got several rows on my scarf done

Dead Bulb Watch: 12 Days and Counting

#MilWordy Update: 34,398 words

The puppy advice spammers are back. I much prefer them because occasionally I learn something from the comments.

Today has been a bit slow, but I’m not sure if there’s any reason for that. Got lunch late. That’s about it.

New podcast: The Hidden Djinn — Back in 2002, when I was writing a book with a djinn antagonist, I was scouring the net and the bookstores for information djinns. At that time, they didn’t even have a copy of the Arabian Nights in the shop. This podcast though, this has many stories that I haven’t heard. Probably because I don’t speak or write Arabic or Farsi, so I couldn’t find the stories by myself. This is a long way of saying that I recommend this podcast.

I don’t really have anything else to talk about today. Until tomorrow!

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9-14-2020

eBay sales: none

Craft projects completed: 0

Dead Bulb Count: 11 Days and counting

#MilWordy Update: 33,039 words

Spent the entire day as though I forgot to do something important. I have no idea what it was and I still don’t. I bounced the thought around with my friend and we think that maybe I was dreaming and didn’t finish whatever I was doing in the dream, so I’ve spent the entire day trying to remember what it was I’m supposed to do.

I spent most of the day attempting to reach zero in my work inbox. Which is to laugh. I’m still at 1500 plus. And it is killing me. Slowly. Through intensive boredom.

Now, we’re group-reading a book. I can’t even. Our discussion points include:

  • “They brought chipmunks into the country without quarantine and put them into a cage that’s actually on the ground? So, invasive species into the country and not trying to keep them contained? And how many chipmunks to they now have? They brought in 40, we now have more than 100. And I’m sure they’re burrowing out into the forest now.”
  • “Is her plan to kill everyone on the planet? With the water columns?”
  • “Is there fic for this book? We need to write anti-fan fiction for it!”
  •  “Are there any Batman crossovers? Cuz that is a natural fit.”
  • “No, but God said he wouldn’t use a flood again. It would be fire.”
  • “This book is going to turn us all into alcoholics.”
  • “Misslesl. Got to the bunker. Call the b****.”

So, yeah, this book is a thing. It’s a thing which should not exist. The MC just hung up on the President. And it isn’t as though the MC isn’t like in a firefight or anything. I can’t even. Jesus wept this is bad. No, I won’t tell you the title. It doesn’t deserve it.

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