Look, walls n such! (an update)

A disclaimer: Spouseman & I are NOT doing this renovation ourselves.
This amazing work is being done by a wide array of highly-trained & fully licensed, bonded & insured professionals. We recommend every one of the companies involved so far, especially the Plan-Design-Build firm who’s wrangling them all for this project.

(Our home improvement skills begin with knowing where shut-offs & breakers are, kludging repairs via Duck tape, screws, & mending plates,  rough carpentry, and so on–with an occasional foray into “unplug it & plug it in again, flip the switches, check the connections, change the batteries.”)

First, the main hall, what you see when you come down the stairs. (Click on any pic in each collection to biggify them as a slideshow)

Here’s the gaming zone:

And some before & mid-project pics from areas that simply weren’t worth snapshots (or didn’t have enough light to photograph) before renovation began.

Midway through the estimated project schedule, we’re only 2 fixes & 2 installations away from having all major goals achieved.

Our main concern was getting the generational hodgepodge of electrical, plumbing, & HVAC systems modernized, redesigned efficiently & brought up to code. Only 1 minor electrical project & HVAC zone damping left. We also wanted a half-bath down there, a (more) level floor, and modern windows that would open. Leveling starts next week!

Then it’s all, “prime, trim, paint, install new fixtures, & make with the pretty.”

… A’course, this means I have to go shopping for a new washing machine & dryer soon. And maybe a new dishwasher. All were near the end/past of their typical operating life when we moved in, and we’d already budgeted their replacement.

Ugh. Am NOT looking forward to that.

I confess I am excited about the new laundry room. It’ll have a light switch, its own window, and all the mod cons.

These are the things that make daily life easier, and those make writing easier.

So many little big things.

For those wondering, my revisions & drafting progress slowed to glacial speeds last week. Wall installation was MUCH more distracting than demolition & roughing-in work. It was curiosity — I hadn’t ever seen plastering done. (Yes, I could go work elsewhere, but I LOVE seeing the progress. Hence the distraction.)

But. ANYway. I did get other things done, and this week should be much better. I have a second alpha reader waiting for Sharp Edge scenes now, & new readers always give my momentum a big push.

Until later!

 

There’s more to my life than the new house: there’s also Dragon Con!

This weekend I’m pausing all the moving-in work so I can go to Atlanta for Dragon Con. (Why did I buy  house right between my year’s two biggest conventions? That’s just how I roll, what can I say?)

Will you be at Dragon Con? Want to meet up? That would be awesome. Easiest way to find me: stop by one of the panels I’ll be on. Here’s a handy list.

FRIDAY:

 Gimme a Break
Time: 8:30 pm Location: Embassy CD – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Best advice for breaking into fantasy & SF novel writing.
Panelists: Venessa Guinta(M), Scott Sigler, Tamsin L. Silver, Esther Friesner, J. Gregory Keyes, K. M. Herkes, John D. Ringo
(I am seriously the Minority Report in this group. But it should be great.) 

SATURDAY:

A Sense of Place: The Role of Setting in UF
Time: 11:30 am Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Often the location where the action takes place can be an integral aspect of the story. Our panel of authors will discuss the role setting plays in their work & how it affects the stories they tell.
Panelists: J.F. Lewis, Linda Robertson, E.J. Stevens, K. M. Herkes, Jennifer Morris(M), Melissa F Olson
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked, “Why Elgin, Illinois?” I’d have…some dollars. I’

The Isms: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of Today
Time: 10:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Social consciousness changes, but books are forever. Something that was once progressive today may seem anything but. Are these works simply products of their time or true reflections of the person? Let’s not toss the dragonet out with the Hatching Sand and shells. *Trigger Warning*
Panelists: Ray Johnson (M), K. M. Herkes, Mike Massa, Dr. Charles E. Gannon
This…could be A-MAY-ZING. I’ve recently done some re-reading and re-watching of my classic faves, and wow…yeah. I am very much a fan of VERY problematic things. And that’s okay. Even good. Lots to discuss.

SUNDAY

Off the Record: Life beyond the Shelf – A Look at Publishing from the Other Side
Time: 5:30 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: What is the best way to approach a bookstore/library/track? What are these other people looking at and how best should you show that you are their answer? Time for an inside look at publishing from the other side of mirror. No recording, as this is Off the Record and Behind the Curtain.
Panelists: Tyra A Burton, Kathleen, Diane Aurand, Cisca Small(M), K. M. Herkes
Oooo, yeah, I have STORIES, from the bookselling years.

MONDAY

All the Subs
Time: 1:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Fantasy is filled with all kinds of stories, but sometimes a trend pops up that turns into a sub-genre. Supervise? Gamelit? LitRPG? Cozy? Noir? There are so many, & a few that don’t really fit in any…yet.
Panelists: L. Jagi Lamplighter, James A. Hunter, Aaron Crash, G. Scott Huggins, Cat Rambo(M), K. M. Herkes
Meep. I’m on a panel with Cat Rambo? MEEP. So exciting. Daunting, but exciting.
This panel topic is near and dear to my “organize-all-the-things” heart. I’m going to take deep breaths, sit up straight, and enjoy the heck out of it.’

I’m going to come home from this con with a TON of new reading material, I just know it.

Between panels, I’ll be hanging at The Bard’s Tower in the Vendor zone. With my books, yes. Want to buy a book or a patch or some pins? I can make that happen. Have I mentioned that I write books? Techno-thrillers, superpower fantasy. And science-fiction-knitting-romances. (And cozy ghost mystery paranormals, but you can’t buy those yet.)

ANYway. I’ll try to stay engaged online while away, but no promises. It’s a busy, BUSY con. I don’t have FB messenger, but texts or Twitter DMs will find me. I’ll also be going to panels & other events, because that’s part of the fun, and the con goes on all day & night for 4 days, after all. The Palmetto Knights are on my must-see list, for sure, and multiple visits to Artist’s Alley, of course.

All righty. That covers the con. Time to color my hair, unearth the suitcase, and pack the con clothes.

And after Dragon Con? Well. Expect this blog to go quiet. If I have time to sit down with words between Labor Day and Halloween, there’s a book to finish revising and another to finish drafting, and the urge to bury myself in manuscripts is getting stronger by the day. So. That’s how it goes.

Gen Con 2019 post #2

So many good things happened today. I want to write about all of them, but I am bleary-eyed tired & sleepy & full of good food from Bazbeaux Pizza and cannot possibly process it all.

I am also full of contentment after the long, busy Gen Con Saturday experience, what with all the meeting & chatting & connecting & sharing. And new ideas are firing up, sparked by great conversations with new friends.

Thanks to all who stopped by my table to chat, from Greg, who let me show him all my “baby house’ pictures, to Very Vocal Viking Troy who swung by for a return visit (!) and brought his wonderful friend Chandra, who bought the big book bundle and let me give her the free pins that went with it. And special glittery internet hugs for Shell who wanted me to know exactly how much she loves my characters.

Cheers to Patricia the artist with gorgeous line drawings (whose card I still need to grab) for letting me moon over all her beautiful art, all hail my many, wonderful aisle-mates on Authors Avenue for making me feel welcome, and big gratitude to all the passers-by who let me babble excitedly at them about my wonderful fictional worlds.

AND HAVE I MENTIONED SHANNON EICHORN? My table mate, my rock of stability, my holder of ipads and issuer of gentle reminders to hydrate?

Yeah. This con would not have been a success without her staunch support. Just saying.

ANYway. I could go on and on, but there’s still Sunday to go, and it’s late, and I have ideas to ponder & dream on before tomorrow arrives.

Until later.