Writing again

A Week of Good & Exciting Things

Little happy thing first. It’s been a great week for suburban wildlife spotting. Two foxes, both in broad daylight, three separate flyovers by migrating sandhill cranes, and all kinds of blue jay and crow friend activity.

Seeing critters out and around my neighborhood always brings me an absurdly large amount of joy.

Another exciting thing, slightly bigger and more writing-related: Spouseman reminded me of yet another story that I’d already forgotten I wrote and stuffed into a folder. Now I’ve tracked down the file and added it to the growing collection manuscript, which means that project is progressing and on track to publish next year despite all my assorted distractions this fall.

Revisiting my older stories is…weirdly enjoyable. I was kinda afraid I would be embarrassed by them or find they were not at all good, but that’s not been the case so far. I suppose it might be a massive case of “blind to my own flaws,” but I still like them all.

In big writing news, I had a meeting (online) with my audiobook producer. Trimmed the list pf potential narrators she’s collected Five will advance to a second round of sample recordings. We also signed a contract and had a great chat about life, the universe, and voice stuff.

The project is finally feeling real and official. I’m upgrading from hopeful to actively believing Weaving In The Ends will finally get its audio soon.

A related note: it has belatedly dawned on me that I should keep an ear out for actors who sound like the way I think my characters do, to help voice actors get a better idea of what I think my characters sound like, same as I keep an eye out for celebrities who are face matches as artist references. (I mean, now that I’ve thought of it, it seems so damned OBVIOUS, ya know?)

So, anyway, I’m having a lot of fun working on a list of sundalikes for my Rollover characters.

The biggest news this week is that I have a NEW CAR for the first time in 16 years. It’s a sweet not-so-little new Kia Niro, plug-in hybrid edition. My choices were ugly silver, white or black, and the black was the shiniest. So. It is mine. Details took a few days to work out–started with making dealer contact Monday, spent most of Tuesday at the dealer doing test drive, final decisions, and All The Paperwork Things. And finished today (Thursday) with delivery of new license plates & arrival of the car insurance card. Quest Complete!

The top image on the post is a glamour shot from the website. It looks exactly like mine, but mIne’s in the garage where the lighting is crappy.

The old Mazda is still going strong, considering its age, so instead of trading it in, we’re selling it to a friend’s son who needs wheels. It’s more than reliable enough for puttering around locally.

In summary, it’s been a busy, hectic week, but I feel a lot lighter at the end of it. Crossing things off the to-do list always feels good. Wrapping up things that have been on my lists for years feels really good.

Now I can start putting more energy into all the other projects I want to do. Because of course I still have a million things I want to write and create and work on.

Writing again

Post- Food Thursday musings

I hope everyone had as lovely a Thursday as you could possibly have. If you celebrated American Thanksgiving, belated Happy Thanksgiving to you. (Cat picture header just because cat tax, plus LOOKIT DAT FACE)

Here at Herkes House, we enjoyed the usual quiet day of cooking & eating an abundance of foods while also enjoying an abundance of fluffy television programming. Once upon a time Thanksgiving was the last Great Pause before the  6-week work frenzy of my retail season (immediately followed by Spouseman’s year-end accounting marathon) and now? Now it’s just a Thursday after a bunch of sales on foods we like.

Reason enough for a feast!

I like the traditional Thanksgiving foods, so I always make stuffing & mashed potatoes, decant cranberry sauce from a can (because I am one of Those People) and roast some kind of turkey product, although only rarely a full turkey.  All that’s along with whatever other trimmings I feel like making.  Which this year meant cranberry orange scones.

We bought pumpkin pie last week, and I’m glad, because that meant I got to enjoy it before my nose clogged solid from the COVID. Dessert last night: frosted gingerbread cookies from our local grocery/bakery. Spicy enough for me to taste!

Current silly TV viewing is Sliders (which is, in the words of one of the stars, “incomprehensible gibberish” but also great fun.  It’s the latest on my current quest to watch/rewatch classic TV  series from the 90’s & 00’s. Should hold me through next week or even longer,

I feel weird about the whole “Happy Thanksgiving” experience lately, because the more I learn about the history of the holiday, and the more I see of the weird/stressful way it’s celebrated, the more I believe the whole holiday needs a serious revamp.

No, I don’t think Thanksgiving should be abolished. I mean, there’s nothing inherently problematic, imperialist, or even religious about the idea of setting aside a particular day to deliberately celebrate things in our lives that are good and right.  There’s no intrinsic reason not to treat “the last Thursday of the month before winter solstice” as a kind of kick-off for the rest of the winter holidays.

(And yet…count on America to smother a simple, universal idea like “hey, we’re alive, and it’s good, let’s get together and have a feast!” with a metric fuckton of  mythologized, whitewashed, ahistorical, genocidal, Christofascist associations. )

I don’t think the current messaging I’ve seen the last few years (Thanksgiving is irredeemably problematic, don’t celebrate,  instead reflect on crimes against humanity committed by people who decided this was a celebration day) is a strategy for successful change.  The idea that a day some people celebrate has bad associations for a person, family, culture, religion or history means everyone should stop  celebrating it has a hint of logical fallacy about it.

(My thought, my space, not an invitation to argue over the ether. I’m well aware I’m a minority opinion among those who generally agree with my other political leanings.)

WHOOPS. That was a bigtime digression away from the original point of my post.  (by which fact you know I am me and not a pod-alien. But anyway.)

I’m thankful for a lot this week. An incomplete list, in no order of importance:

  • clear COVID test
  • roof overhead, functioning heat, lights, on-demand running hot & cold water, and functioning internet access. NGL I am never not-thankful for those everyday miracles.
  • mostly-functioning sense of taste & smell: not enough to adjust recipes “to taste,” but enough to enjoy the scent of roasting turkey & the flavor of savory mashed potatoes.
  • family & friends.  I am SO thankful for all the people in my life. Always, but especially this year.
  • neighbors who raked our front lawn for us overnight (I will thank those neighbors personally as soon as I figure out who did it. Dark of night. Srsly. The grass was still covered when we went out for our sunset walk.)
  • The financial freedom to buy foods I want, and the gift of time that goes hand in hand with that, which lets me choose what foods I prepare & which I just buy premade & gobble up.
  • Alla y’all. Thank you for being my online audience & being tireless supporters of my storymaking.

There’s a lot more, but that’s enough for one musing, I do believe. Have a happy & budget-friendly weekend, if you celebrate shopping season, and remember, books make GREAT gifts! I’ll post more Pippin pics on Sunday.

Writing again

Today’s report

After doing my regular work shift today, Spouseman & I embarked on a multi-store “Take Advantage Of Food Sales” grocery run. Many things were purchased. Crowds were avoided, dodged, and/or otherwise endured.

Much fun was had.

We are on target for our usual pre-Christmas goal of avoiding all shopping anywhere for anything for at least a week after Retail Frenzy Weekend. (Book purchases do not count as shopping. Just saying.)

To celebrate the successful survival, we walked over to the LocalMart (aka Caputos) to grab tasty heat-n-eats for an evening feast in front of a movie. (Introvert version of a wild night out.)

In related news, Meg 2 is s Very Silly movie. Ridiculous good bad.

Writing again

So, this happened. (A smol post-WindyCon report)

Report is late because yes, I came back from the con and promptly came down with Covid.

Progression so far: felt blah Sunday night, normal postcon tiredness. Monday developed a putrid sore throat & congestion but tested negative. Fever & aches started Monday overnight, tested weakly positive Tuesday afternoon. Constant sinus drainage joined the party Tuesday & Wednesday, shifting on Thursday to sinus congestion & disgusting-phlegmy chest cough. Today I have more energy and my chest is fairly clear, but my head is a solid block of congestion and my sense of smell went completely AWOL overnight.

Which, anosmia has happened to me twice before with respiratory viruses, so it’s not unexpected, but I still hate it. It’s so WEIRD. Especially since I’ve been hypersensitive to scents the last few weeks, as is typical in autumn once the pollen counts drop.

Anyway. I’m on day 2 fever-free & only minorly gurgly-chested, so it’s back to the brar (masked) next week per work protocols. When will food get interesting again? Dunno.

But due to the being sick and all, I’ve done exactly NOTHING since getting home except laundry and a lot of sleeping & reading. Which means I have a long list of postcon to-dos to get to next week instead of this one. But all that’s for later.

So. About the con. Windycon was fun kinda in spite of itself. The hotel was a trainwreck worthy of its own post, the programming was, um, <redacted for diplomatic reasons> and the dealers room flow was wonky, split across two rooms with a cramped gauntlet of an entryway.

But it was still fun. My expectations were rock-bottom, so my weekend was made the first afternoon when someone came by specifically looking for whatever I had that was new (and because they hadn’t done Capricon & I didn’t vend last year at Windy, they went away with a copy of Sharp Edge. Joy!)

Other highlights:

I did critiques for the Windycon Writers Workshop again, and it was fun, informative and enjoyable again. Only two submissions to ur group, but they were enjoyable reads. I really like how I keep getting lucky & meeting cool people through it.

Had conversations with many librarian/library employees–so many that we started joking about the Secret Librarians Of Fandom (as opposed to the old Secret Masters of Fandom joke that runs around fan cons) So now I seriously may have to make up S.L.O.F. ribbons to hand out at Capricon.

Saw so SO many confriends I haven’t seen since Capricon or even last Windycon, including Tavis & Weston from ConConction, and Helen (a librarian) who always drops by to see if I have anything new. Lisa from Dreamhaven Books came by and collected cool ideas from Dex & Rhiannon for porential programming at Minicon, so I might be doing MInicon next spring? I dunno.

Made new friends, including someone who runs a library SF book group that actually meets on SATURDAYS so I might be able to join. And someone who’s planning to try & get my ebooks into the Milwaukee library system, which would be another pin on the “books in every library system” mapt that so far only exists in my imagination.

And, finally, I sold enough books to justify buying an awesome glow in the dark 3D printed dragon from the cool vendors across the aisle from us. (whose companyname I have of course completely forgotten, I must look it up for later)

If I start on all the shortcomings of the hotel I’ll be here for another couple thousand words…it mostly falls under the “old building in need of major retrofitting being lovingly cared for by dedicated staff” umbrella.

I heard the last day of the con that a lot of things were being left unfixed because major renovations, including a complete lobby revamp & new elevator bank, are due to start immediately after the con.

Which, okay, but, still? Oh, well. At least they aren’t tearing the building down next month. (Why yes, I have stayed in hotels that were demolished almost immediately after I stayed in them. It’s happened multiple times, in fact. Last I checked, the count stood at 4, plus one that changed brands & got basically gutted & reworked.)

Anyway. On that cheerful note, a Pippin pic, and it’s off to bed for me.