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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9-13-20

eBay sales: 2 necklaces, stuffed dog, pins

craft projects completed: 0 (several rows of knitting)

Dead bulb day count: 10 (on pause because of the weekend)

#Milwordy update: 32,879

My wrist has been screaming at me all day. I don’t know what I did to the poor thing. It feels as though I tried to pick something up that was too heavy and it set off the nerves in my wrist.

I woke up in a blech mood because my joints ached, so I took the day off. Didn’t list a thing. Didn’t write anything more than this blog post. That doesn’t mean I won’t work on something after this, but I really didn’t do anything productive.

I lie — I picked up the eBay room a little bit, looking for one of the necklaces. And we unpacked one of the Halloween boxes and spread things out.

What’s your #Milwordy looking like? Did you finish any of your projects? Inquiring minds want to know.

TTFN

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9-12-20

eBay sales: None

Craft Projects completed: 0, although I’m making progress on my scarf and managed a good six rows before my wrist started to ask me what exactly I thought I was doing.

Bulb Day Count: 10 (weekends will not be part of the count)

#Milwordy Update: 31,924 words

The spammers have sadly stopped sending me puppy and gardening advice. They’ve moved on to CBD oil and Audible. Sadly, no, I can tell that your comments have absolutely nothing to do with the post you added them to. It’s just *sloppy*. I’m sure there is a spam comment on my blog, but it was well tailored to pass my immediate sniff test and get past the spam filter on the page, so it deserves its place.

I was perusing the menorahs on eBay and I found this little beauty:

Yes. Yes, that is a goat menorah. It is wonderful. I love it.

No, I’m not Jewish. Neither is my mother. We just love menorahs and sort of collect them.

It also made me think of Scapegoats by Andrew Grell. (Link to purchase is *not* affiliate, but is linked to Golden Fleece Press). It’s about telepathic goats who are trying to make the world a better place by working with specific humans. It’s weird. It’s wonderful. And it has a special place in my heart. Let me repeat: Telepathic goats. At least one of whom sounds like your old Jewish grandpa from New York. I love these goats.

I want the goat menorah. But I don’t want to pay $400 for the goat menorah. (If you do, the picture will link you to eBay. Also *not* affiliate or in any way related to me.)

It’s been the sort of day that goes quickly. We had a zero session for the new D&D campaign we’ll be starting next week. Which also involved discussions of nail polish, massages, and contractors who can’t think beyond 12 hours when we need more time to process them into the system and get all the paperwork filed for them to come into work-sites. So much paperwork. Don’t ask. It will tip off a rant.

I’ve actually managed to paint my nails today with my favorite – Grass Stain from Revlon – which I bought on the Renthead quest for Neiderlander green nails. It’s not exactly the shade of the Neiderlander theatre, but I’ve grown very fond of it. I used to use it as the base for an odd sort of French tip where I’d put a cat’s eye line in the center with black and then do the tips in black as well. Nail art can break your brain a little bit.

Dad got a bee in his bonnet and started cleaning out the planter on the back deck and in the back yard. That means we ran out to get a new grill cover. There are still some broken pots that I need to get off of the deck before the winter. Heck, it would make sense to bring all of the pots into the garage and the gardening section. I am not putting that on my to do list.

Tomorrow, I’m going to focus on more eBay listing. I’m trying to list biggish things. Selling pins is all fine and well, but they take up less than an inch of space. I can put them at the end of my listing list. First focus is Halloween. Then Christmas stuff. Then new in box things. Then dolls. Then purses. Then shoes. Then maybe some glass chickens. People love glass chickens. I do not understand it.

There’s more cookbooks to be listed and I’ve got at least two board games which need to have all of their parts counted before I list them. I can only hope that more people start shopping as we head into the final quarter of the year.

Though shopping does require that people actually can work.

Telework is a thing that needs to happen for more jobs. And yes, I understand that some things can’t be done that way. I have worked retail. But I have also worked in offices where they require me to be there for 8 hours a day when I only have three hours of work. I’m very fond of the project focused workplace. As in — I give you your project. You finish it. I give you the next project. Or maybe I give you three projects which you work concurrently. As you finish them, you get the next one. And seriously, as long as you come in once a week for the staff-meeting/ TEM, I don’t care what time you come in to the office. Or if you prefer to work on Saturday. Or out at a park (assuming non-proprietary information). Just do your job. You are an adult.

Then I remind myself: You were acting manager for three/four months. Your team can’t all do that. Some can be trusted, but others need to be herded. Some people are just lazy. Some people just don’t know how to do things. And some people are just idiots. Which means there needs to be options. If you’re promoted to a certain level, you should be a self-starter and able to have a flexible schedule. If you can’t do that sort of thing, you don’t get promoted to the job with the flexible schedule. Easy in theory. Horrible in practice because people are going to take advantage or play favorites. And it sucks that that is reality. Maybe it’s different in a small company. But once you get to a certain number of people that flexibility gets harder to implement.

Anyway, off to get some words in on one of the bazillion and a half open projects I’ve got going. TTYT.

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9-11-20

eBay Sales: pattern, doll

Craft projects completed: 0

Bulb day count: 10 days (I won’t count the weekend days, so this won’t change until Monday)

#Milwordy Update: 31,738

It’s been just a bland sort of day. Not good. Not bad.

And I’m just tired. So, early to bed.

TTYT

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9-10-20

eBay sales: Doll

Craft Projects completed: 0

#Milwordy Update: 29,535 words

Bulb out: 9 days and counting

So work was work and that’s all there is to stay about that. Not good. Not bad. But work.

I don’t feel like utter crap today either. I’m breathing well and I don’t feel like I’m dragging my ass up from the bottom of a bed either.

I did manage to get Trish’s book named: Seeds of Kindness.

That’s about it. Off to write until my fingers fall off to catch up on the numbers I needed to hit yesterday.

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9-9-20

eBay sales: none

craft projects completed: o

#Milwordy update: 28,213

So, the bottom line is that I’m not going to sleep without writing *something* every day towards my goal.

Even on days like today when my asthma has kicked up and all I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there. It’s draining on days like this. It’s not even that I can’t get in a full breath. It’s more like, I feel as though I’m breathing okay, but I’m not actually taking in enough air. On a good day, my breathing is compromised. On a bad day, I’m exhausted just pushing through the day with my legal drug caffeine and my inhaler. And it’s not like a heaviness on my chest, but just a general miliase. And my brain stops functioning properly. My brain to mouth filter takes a denial of service hit and my fingers don’t like to actually hold things.

At my day job, there is a light bulb that is blown out just in front of one of our suite doors. It has been blown out for over a week now. I refuse to submit a ticket. I’m waiting to see how long it takes before someone else does it. Seriously. I cannot be the only person in my suite who has figured out how to submit a work ticket. I refuse to believe it. Even though I’m usually the one who ends up doing it because I get annoyed that something isn’t working properly or that the bulbs in the pantry area are burnt out. This is me, waiting, like an annoyed spouse for someone else to notice and get annoyed and put in a ticket. Even if they have to call me to figure out how to submit it.

That was the least annoying part of the day, honestly, but it was annoying.

Also, steel measuring tapes should be considered weapons. I was carrying one from one side of the building to the other, and that thing must way at least a pound, if not more. I’m pretty sure if I chucked it at someone it’d do some serious damage. And that’s not even counting the burr on the edge of the tape where it was nicked by a razor blade once. And I have been cut by a steel measuring tape before. If you thought cardboard cuts were bad, they’ve got nothing on the slice you get from a measuring tape speeding back to its spring-coiled home and taking it out on you that you had the nerve to pull it out. Angry little steel snails do not like to be out of their shells it seems.

And that is the day in the life today. Not cheerful, but could be worse. I have untapped levels of morbid fascinations and justice-fueled rage in my belly that I haven’t really explored in depth.

The Promises Universe looks something like this right now. (Subject to change with no notice) Anyway, I don’t outline, I write jacket covers:

Book 1: Cassandra : Through a Different Lens : Photographer Cassandra Wyeth-Jones’ best friend was her great-aunt Romey. When Romey dies it’s not a huge shock. At least not until the will is read. That’s when Cassandra learns that she’s inherited both a tremendous fortune, and a tremendous responsibility. She knows now that she’s forgotten something from when she was a teenager. She’s forgotten why Romey stopped traveling. But there’s a journal. A stack of IOUs. And a husband and friends who are willing to help her figure it out. She’s forgotten what promises mean. But she’ll learn. Or she’ll die trying.

Book 2: Bryce : Learning the Trick of It : Bryce Williamson is the white sheep of his family of wolves. He doesn’t have the killer ambition that’s led his siblings to achieve great things. In fact, he’s got enough trouble maintaining enough in his bank account to pay for his therapist, anti-anxiety meds, and feed himself and his artist. His mother’s approach to tough love means that he’s got a month to find himself a new place to live. But that the easy part. The hard part is balancing his no-we’re-not-married-artist’s gallery opening, his pregnant sister the lawyer’s fetch and carry quest, and his social network. He’s not an artist himself, no matter what Old Mr. Peretsky says. He’s just good at finding people and connecting them. He didn’t need to know that magic was real. Or that he could perform it. It’s not like he can tell anyone about that. No, he’ll be better off with the magic of quid pro quo and smiling friends. At least until one of the local mafia bosses decides that Bryce’s sister is horning in on his territory. Then, he’s going to need all the magic he can muster to get them all out of this intact.

Book 3: Troy : Things Lost and Found : Troy Wyeth met the love of his life when he was fifteen. The second half of his soul. His perfect partner. Truman. And he lost him just as quickly the next year. He never knew what happened to him. But now, with a quest to find all of the items his great-aunt wanted to distribute to her friends and family, he’s heading back to the land that he never forgot. He has a new lover by his side. Traveling the world has brought him closer to the person he lost and the memory he’s been gripping onto with both hands. He’s got more than a chance to travel the world, he’s got the chance to travel into his own memories. Will the partner he’s found in Trish be able to remind him that he’s got to live in the present not the past?

Book 4: Sulwen : Changeling Sunrise : Sulwen Smith was an orphan. She named herself when she turned sixteen and was spat out of the foster system at 18 with no idea where she’d been born, who her parents were, or why she can’t remember anything that happened before she turned twelve. She went to the police academy and spent a few years learning why she didn’t fit in there. But when she left, she grabbed onto a private investigator’s license and built a life around it. She’s been hired by the Wyeth-Joneses to hunt down the people Aunt Romey left things to in whatever country their currently hiding it. It’s a good gig. But there’s something that’s bothering her. Something like a watercolor memory in her dreams that she can hear more than she can see. And she’s not sure if it’s something jolting loose from the travel Romey’s legacy has caused or the man she’s been tracking down. The man who is the right age to be her father. The man who owed Romey his first born according to the piece of paper he’s been left.

Book 5 : Trish : Untitled :

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9-8-20

eBay sales: vintage print, honey dipper

craft projects completed: 0

#MilWordy update: 27,248

Sadly, the puppy care and succulent scammers have petered off and now I am vexed by poorly worded ads for watches. I mean, I don’t hate watches, but it seems a shame to go from getting useful snippets of information in my spam to barely intelligible scribbles.

I’ve been reading this book on Radical Kindness. I don’t know that I can recommend it. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not great. Though there’s always something to take from non-fiction books and this is the quote that stood out to me:

“Don’t let your inability to do everything undermine your determination to do something.”
— Cory Booker

Right now, I’ve been struggling to maintain the proper amount of rage and energy to affect change. I’ve been giving widely and hoping that some of those seeds of coin will actually sprout into something which helps other people. It’s just been a year.

I think, honestly, that it’s the year that killed my productivity this weekend. Normally I walk away from a 3-Day weekend with 3/4 of a book. This time, I’ve barely reached 15K on the main book I was working on. That’s not great. On the other hand, I’m feeling much more pressure from #Milwordy to actually write something every day. That means the challenge is working, even if I’m not achieving the numbers I used to achieve when I was young and dreamed of glor… I mean, when I was young and could maintain 10 hours of sustained writing and caffeine ingestion without dying or having my hands and wrists start to ache and burn.

AKA: I’m getting old. It’s not that I’m running out of ideas, it’s that I need to be more selective with where I spend my energy.

I also need to stop eating like a city rat. But that’s a rant for a different day.

Back to the Radical Kindness concept. While I understand the de-escalation techniques and the compassionate viewpoint and the assumption of positive intent portions of the book, I find it a little lacking in the perception that people — women especially — are conditioned and raised to constantly put themselves last. To be kind. To be sweet. To stand back and defuse anger.

To be doormats.

I worry that someone reading this book will stay too long in a toxic relationship and end up taking on “If only I were nicer to my SO, they wouldn’t beat me,” for much longer than they should.

I don’t care that the first chapter of the book basically says that self-kindness is the first step. I have never met an abused individual who didn’t that they were already too indulgent of themselves and think they weren’t giving enough in the relationship.

I guess, in summary, while I appreciate random acts of kindness, and trying to see from other people’s perspectives, and all the touchy-feely stuff I learned in college. I also learned that boundaries are a thing that need to happen. And I think this concept could be acidic and toxic if misapplied. As a therapist, one must give out unconditional positive regard. As an individual, one needs to be able to say “thus far and no further. I don’t owe you my affection and emotional work.”

And this has quickly taken a dive into the edges of heavy topics that I don’t want to handle right now.

Let’s take a left hand turn and talk about writing again:

I think I’ve found Trish’s story in the Promises Universe. She’s a kind, sweet, femme person. And I think she fell into the trap of giving too much of herself or she experienced so little kindness that she had to learn to accept and to give it as she grew up. That’s something at least.

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9-7-20

eBay sales: teddy bear, diamond painting drills

craft projects completed: 0

#MilWordy update: 22,874 words

So, I’ve not been nearly as productive as I would have liked over the past three days. Normally, I have at least 40K to 50K written by the end of the weekend on the project. Then, it’s usually only about 3 more chapters before the first draft is completed.

This year? Not so much. I’m going to be lucky to hit 20K.

Still, I’ve solved some of the problems with the story. And I’ve realized that I’m creating a universe that will have different main characters in the books which inhabit it. Each character will be connected back to the first book in some fashion. But it won’t necessarily be the main characters who meet.

For example, the PI who shows up in Cassandra’s book, will definitely show up in Troy’s book, and Bryce may end up showing up in her book. So, I did mention that I’ve got four books in the universe already? And that each of them is technically a stand alone? I’m going to treat it like Jules Verne treated his stories. They all happen in the same universe and may reference each other, even if you don’t have to read each one individually.

And I’m sure that more characters and adventures will spin off of Cassandra’s journey. She’s probably got a good two or three books just dealing with her stories. But Troy may only have one where he’s the MC, but he’ll keep showing up in other people’s books. Heck, Cassandra and Troy will be the ones who can spark off many an adventure while dealing with the estate. So, there’s that. And there’s no reason why I can’t travel back and forth in time in this universe. So maybe Aunt Romey gets a book of her own. I’m not sure yet. I’m also not sure of all the magic systems in the universe, but they’re not all powerful. And sometimes you can’t be sure it’s really magic. Sometimes, it’s just luck or fate or really hard work. Other times it’s pretty blatant, but small magic. Fixing a tire or making a nightlight. Things which can be done without magic. Maybe it’s even easier to do without magic.

Or maybe the amount of magic is growing and the sorts of things it can do will grow organically.

Or maybe not.

Lots of things are unresolved, but I’m a lot closer to seeing inside the snowglobe than I was at the beginning of the thing.

Also — Cassandra does not have a musical soundtrack. This is incredibly bizarre for me as almost everything I have ever written has a soundtrack I work from. The only thing I’ve found it just… people talking in the background. For example – a gaming stream or a clothing haul. She is unlike any other character I’ve worked with. So, I find that fascinating as well as frustrating. In fact, I think she might just prefer silence or the sound of the sea. It’s disconcerting.

Well, back to the book. And honestly, it’ll be a relief tomorrow when I can drift between projects for a little bit as opposed to my self-imposed challenge rules.

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