Chokehold – David Moody
Genius Squad – Catherine Jinks
Little Creeping Things – Chelsea Ichaso
Riot Baby – Tochi Onyebuchi
Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past – Sarah H. Parcak
Profit First – Mike Michalowicz
Playing to Win – AG Lafley & Roger L Martin
Measure What Matters – John Doerr
How Brands Grow – Byron Sharp
Middlegame – Seanan McGuire
Ellen slipped down the holly festooned stairs. The wooden treads had only one creak which she deftly avoided. Her nightgown brushed along the edge of the holly, catching occasionally on a leaf. The lights were out, except for one candle in the window to guide the Mary and Joseph to a safe place.
She crept through the front room back toward the cozier family room. There, in the corner of the room was her target, the stocking with the little puppy on the front of it. It was smaller than the others by just about one inch, which really wasn’t fair. The cookies and milk they’d left out for santa were eaten, and there was a chocolate santa left on the plate.
She smiled at the sight. That was for Petey. She was too old for that sort of thing now. She was almost eleven after all. Petey was just five. The tree wasn’t lit because Mommy was afraid of fires, but the ornaments glittered in the moonlight. The draft from the fireplace made the ornaments twist and send sparkles across the room. She smiled as one of the lights bounced off of the spangles on her stocking.
Sticking out of the top of it was a rolled up puzzle book. A doll peeked out from the edge. Ellen longed to run over to it, but she had one mission tonight.
She stepped in front of the fireplace and up onto the hearth. She looked at the blue stocking with the puppy. Her mother’s stocking was always almost empty. That just wasn’t right. She looked down at the bottle in her hand. She’d saved up her allowance for over three months for it. She tucked the perfume into Mommy’s stocking, then stepped down carefully.
She was about to creep up the stairs when she noticed the man by the tree. His beard was white and his suit was red. He smiled at her and winked. Then, he crossed the room and stepped up onto the hearth. He nodded at her once, then he turned in place and was gone in an instant.
She gaped at the empty hearth. Then, a slow smile crossed her face. She slipped up the stairs and back into bed. Santa was proud of her.
eBay sales: 1 plush, 1 action figure, 1 wig, 1 book, cookie cutters
#MilWordy Update: 96,263 words (3205 words/day to complete)
#NaNoWriMo Update: 12,236 words (4721 words/day to complete)
- Ten Tales Calculated to Give You Shudders – ed. Ross R Olney
eBay Sales: Stuffed toy, pattern, vintage doll
Craft Projects Completed: 0 and none attempted
#MilWordy Update: 68,551 words (2920 words/day to complete on time)
Had to get up at a horrible hour this morning in order to travel home. I’m not even close to unpacked and I haven’t even pulled out my keyboard from the suitcase. It’s not as though that is an excuse for not writing. It’s just the tiredness from traveling. I took a three hour nap this afternoon and I’m still tired. Maybe it’s not enough caffeine in my system or something. At least – knock on wood – I might not get airplane-crud because everyone had to be wearing their masks and there was enough bleach on the airplane to kill almost anything. I feel that this is the point where I should be warning people about not mixing the wrong cleaning agents, but I don’t have the list handy.
Just bleach + ammonia = BAD. Do not do this. It is deadly.
I have, however, figured out at least one plot point for one of my sequel books and I think I might be able to get that one finished by the end of the year and ready for publication.
Two of my short stories are back from beta with very minor edits needing to be made. I should be able to get them turned-in for my Patreon requirements sooner rather than later. I’ve made progress on one of my supernatural crime stories too. (I have recurring characters who pop up in my short stories. Some day I should be able to publish those stories in collections. I’ll be able to put them into chronological order too. Even if that’s not the way they’ve been written.)
I suppose I should get to doing something vaguely productive before the end of the night. So, at least one good sprint today, I think.
Smallis leaned back in his chair. It had taken a long time to learn the arcane symbols needed to program a video slot machine, but he’d finally done it. He’d created the most powerful summoning program ever created. He was going to be famous. He spun the chair around twice, then clicked to send the app live.
He put his hands behind his head. “Suck it, you archaic dicks.”
EBay sales: candy dish
Craft projects completed : insert laughter here
#MilWordy Update: I will catch up with this tomorrow. No significant progress since Friday though.
Things of random notice so far on this trip:
- The power chair we rented is worth every penny. I don’t have to push. Mom doesn’t feel guilty and has more autonomy. The cast members are making a point of talking to her rather than me as well, which is a subtle but significant change that makes her happier too. I don’t know if she’s actually noticed that yet
- The bus service to the resorts is sketchier than usual. They have a restricted number of seats available and not enough extra buses to cover for that. The couple at the head of our line had been waited over an hour and a half by the time the bus got to us.
- The buffets have come up with an excellent way of continuing. The food is still all you care to eat, but they bring your party a platter with a selection of everything that is on offer and if you want more of anything you just ask for it. I think this must reduce the amount of food waste too because people don’t take stacks of food. I have greatly enjoyed them.
- I burn like crazy even when I use sun screen. I know this and still I was surprised when my pale skin turned red on the shoulders. I went to Hawaii and got a sunburn during the two rainiest weeks they had ever experienced.
- I don’t like crowds
- A baby’s lungs are stronger than the elevator / resort sound system.
- I am getting old and my knees do not appreciate me getting up and going from a mile a day to five miles with no in between.
- I am much more interested in taking pictures now that I can use an on-line photo book company rather than trying to scrap it myself.
- The Battlestar Gallatica theme song (original series) is in my head know that it was randomly playing near an attraction with absolutely no connection to BSG.
Regularly scheduled madness will resume next week, I think. Right now: sending healing vibes to a friend who has been to the ER and Urgent Care this weekend. Additional positive thoughts would be welcome.
Traveling today, so I am going to just leave this quote here instead:
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more nobel life.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
eBay Sales: String lights
Craft Projects Completed: 0 (no progress on the scarf either)
#MilWordy Update: 58,300 words (2811 words/day to complete on time)
WordPress has changed its interface for writing posts. Currently, I hate it. I hate that I no longer have the actual control over my html. I can’t find any way to actually edit in html. I can only use the on-screen editor. Taking away my control over how my words are presented without my consent really tweaks me off. I am not happy.
I’m trying. I haven’t given up on it. I’m still working through the formatting options. And the blocks which I can add. So far, not working for me. I dislike the amount of white on the page. I dislike that all of my tag options and my scheduling options are hidden. There’s not even been a tutorial on this pushed into my face. I chose to continue using the old format for posting until the bitter end because I did not appreciate the “upgrade” which again removed functionality.
At the very least — give me a “night option” so that I’m not squinting at this horrible white screen. Also, where has my word count gone? You know — the one which was always in the corner? I wanted that information easily findable. And where is my option to go back to the basic editor? Please?
I suppose that’s enough whining about this topic. But it’s totally thrown off my groove and it’s making me uncomfortable.
And in summary, I’m feeling contrary and this new interface is kludgy and uninspiring, so I’m not writing anymore on this site today.
Pumpkins, leaves, and laughter, darlings. It’s what will get us through this.
Wait! I finally found the classic editor! If only it were, you know EASY TO FIND AND USE. I shouldn’t have to add it as a block in order to use the easier interface. Seriously. WordPress, I am going to have to explore my options.
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.