Inside my head this week

  • Been watching this year’s baby squirrels indiscriminately sample EVERYTHING in my yard. It’s their first seasonal Stock Up For Winter Festival of Foods, and they are relentlessly optimistic. One has nibbled the same hot pepper five times today, as if she can’t quite believe that it will taste nasty every single time. One of her siblings (or cousins, who knows?) can smell the tasty food scraps in the organics can, but they’re too deep to reach. So she relieves her frustration by nibbling on the lid. (No, she isn’t trying to gnaw her way in. She peeks inside, twitches her tail, then closes the lid and bites it before running off to investigate my tomato plants. Again.)
  • The latest in weird searches:
    • Puppet glossary
    • instinctive versus instinctual
    • 19th century ball sports
    • mauve etymology
  • Gumbo Fiction Salon was a special edition this month: celebrating Mary Shelley & 200 years of Frankenstein. Spouseman took the day off, and my author friend Toni Johnson came downtown for this one too, so it was a Super-duper Big Author Adventure. We had food and fun, and at the open mic I read a bit more from my veterinarian short story that I will send off to a magazine someday.  Extra-big plus: Toni and I had a Work Day together and I actually got words made too. Major Win.
  • I passed 50,000 words in Ghost Town this week! Celebrate with me, I’m doing a happy chair-dance. It’s officially a novel, and well over halfway done.
  • I am getting tired of my elbows and forearms hurting. I know what’s wrong and am doing all the things to treat it, but tendonitis and nerve entrapment take MONTHS to heal at best with joints like mine. Also I keep accidentally re-aggravating the tendons and pinching the nerves, which slows down the healing process. Yes, yes, I know better. But have you ever tried going through a whole day not rotating your wrists? Not easy.
  •  It smells like autumn at last. Fallen leaves, drying herbs, petrichlor, and frost. Ahhhh, happy nose. It’s pretty for the eyes, too. The sky is never so blue as it is after a drenching autumn rainstorm passes, and the sunlight never more golden than when it filters through the just-turned leaves of a big gnarly locust tree.
    (I adore fall, can you tell?)
  • Books, stickers, and new business cards ordered in time to have them on-hand for for the laid-back local Windy Con next month. GOOD TIMES AHEAD. Right? Right? Hmm. Need to make a date with my seamstress to get my Fancy Coat taken in to fit properly. (Hi, Cheryl! Let’s get together this week, eh?)
  •  My idea of an exciting Sunday: brain-free viewing on the television, a peck of apples set up to peel & prep, hot cider in my mug, and fresh popcorn with LOTS of salt in a big bowl next to me.


That’s all the all there is for now.

Notes from inside my head 1-5 October

  • Why I like Wired Magazine online: they put closed captions on all their videos. CNN, you could do better. What I don’t like about Wired & a lot of other online mags? Lazy lack of source citations. If you’re going to write an article on a really interesting technical topic, I want to see where you found your information. Somewhere. Somehow. NO EXCUSES.


  • The things we do for our loved ones: things like lifting the cat onto the bed at 3AM after he wakes you by repeatedly flinging himself at the side of the mattress. (He’s 17 years old and can no longer jump high enough to reach the top.) Yes, we put steps by the bed for him to use. He refuses to walk up them at night. During the day? Sure. At night? NOPE.


  • I sent a crankymail to PetSmart today. The cashier tried to blackmail my email out of me. They recently upgraded their rewards program, and email is now required to get discounts, I guess. Which is fine, but  I do not share my retail-rewards email in public. Period. Yeah, it’s a quirk. It’s my privacy, and I protect it by only signing up for things online, where I can unclick “send me spam coupons and savings” and “share my email with the world” boxes and set a password I can remember….ANYWAY.  I don’t send complaint emails often, but when I do, they are coldly courteous and dripping with disappointment.  Grr. Arrgh.


  • And some days you end up doing searches like these:
    • piebald moose alberta
    • cop slang personal vehicle
    • tulip virus colors


  • My big project for the week. I think most people saw these already, but I’m posting them here for posterity. And Dad. (Hi, Dad. Look, my workroom is now tackier than a North Woods roadside bar!) It was rainy and cold the day after I finished, but this room was cozy and perfect for writing.


  •  I think I’ve engaged more library patrons in conversation in my last three shifts than in the previous ten. Why? Location, location, location. Let’s just say people are MUCH more inclined to stop and ask questions when your desk is within the thresholding zone of the entrance AND directly faces the aisle than when it’s perpendicular to traffic flow tucked back in a corner. Imagine that.

    The full story: The library where I work is renovating the lobby area where I usually work in Registration. Since we do a lot of directional work on a regular day, we successfully lobbied (HA PUN) to have a table closer to the entrance–before people get to the plastic-draped zone–so we can assure people that we’re open, answer questions about the reno, and to encourage patrons onward to the temporary circulation & registration desks that have been set up in the Youth section for the month.


  •  I’ll end with a media consumption note. I’m all about books lately.  Since my last update I have finished reading all the published Confluence novels by Jennifer Foehner Wells, and completed Fran Wilde’s Bone Universe series. Next up is Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse unless I get distracted by cheesy romance novels or something.  No new TV yet except the Good Place. (SO GOOD, GO WATCH IT.) I’m catching up on recent movies. Watched Overboard on a recommendation. It was strangely heartwarming in a problematic way. And I had to watch Death Wish, because I will always watch Bruce Willis, but since the original was a revenge fantasy based on offensive cliches and exploded urban violence myths, it did not age well. My recurrent thought while viewing:  WOW THIS IDEA WAS BAD THE FIRST TIME AND YET THESE WRITERS MANAGED TO MAKE IT WORSE.

And that’s all the all there is for now.

Listing my life again

What have I been doing? Writing, mostly. Now that the butterfly season & convention season are over, I’m back on a regular schedule. I’m chewing through my latest project faster than I expected ( I’m still gonna miss my self-imposed deadline, tho. Oh, well.)

And I do take time off to do Other Things. Here be the most recent Doings:


Long list this time around. For some reason I read faster when I’m writing more. Restricted access to social media also helps.

  • Stars Are Legion, Kameron Hurley Space Opera. Organic ships & kickass protagonist.
  • Rights Of Use, Shannon Eichorn Space Opera. Aliens. Awesomeness.
  • Freelance Familiars, Daniel Potter Fantasy. Sorta portal, urban-feeling, all fun. CATS.
  • Eden’s Outcast, Kuta Marler. Urban Fantasy. Fun world & fabulous characters.
  • Fated Sky, Mary Robinette Kowal. Science-fiction. Full of humanity. MADE ME CRY.
  • Poppy War,  R. F Kuang Fantasy. Epic world-building, phenomenal mythology.
  • Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik  Fantasy with fairy tale roots. Deep & delicious.
  • Fluency,  Jennifer Foehner Wells Space Opera. Linguistics. <swoon!>
  • Sere From the Green, Lauren Jankowski: Urban fantasy. Werewolves. Wonderful richness.

I enjoyed every last one of these books immensely,  in totally different ways, and I am working through reviewing them on Amazon & Goodreads. (Amazon gets squirrely and starts refusing to post reviews when I do more than 3 at a time. I should have the last few done later this week.)


I’ve re-watched a buncha movies: Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War I, Lilo&Stitch, Spiderman: Homecoming, Moana… I think I’m in the mood for brain fluff.

That’s about it. I haven’t been watching much TV. Most of the series I’ve been following are between seasons, jumped a whole school of sharks, or have been cancelled. (Law & Order reruns do not count. They’re background noise to fall asleep watching.)

I’ll be asking for viewing recommendations in a month or so. Hibernation season is coming.

There’s new music in my life for the first time in forever. I have a new writing-time soundtrack: Hamilton. I didn’t expect to like it. I am not a big Broadway fan because the voices & songs all sound alike to me. This one? THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT. And excellent. And fabulous.

Kitchen & Garden

September is my favorite month in the garden. I have tomatoes in the freezer to turn into sauce soon, and lots of super-hot little peppers. As soon as we get a cool, damp day, I’ll start transplanting the super-tall mystery plants (some kind of prairie sunflower)  into the back of the garden and hack off the seed pods of my ever-enthusiastic senna plants.

Baking season is nearly upon us.  I am stocking up on essentials as they go on sale. The big excitement is that I get to indulge in guilt-free baking all through October. My department will be sharing space with two others next month while renovations happen, so I will have three times the usual audience. (The guilt comes from being I’m told over and over, “I shouldn’t be eating these,” / “Oh, no, I’m going to gain so much weight,” / “Oh. You baked again?” Yeah.)

So, anyway, new people to feed, yay!

And autumn is also apple season. Spouseman & I are car-pooling with some friends to take our first orchard trek of the year tomorrow. Cheese, fruit & goodies, here we come.

Yes, the pictures I tack onto my posts are sometimes reruns and mostly random. I love grouchy cats, I will not lie.