3. Other Things Whimsy Writing Life

Winter Checklist 7

Lessee, what did I do today? I’m sure I must’ve done something to get to 14,129 steps and 67 active minutes.

1.  GOT UP EARLY. My doctor’s appointment was at 07:30. Getting there counts as an accomplishment. I know many people are at work before that hour of the AM every day, but I am not one of them. So I drank lot of extra Scottish Breakfast tea, and took advantage of being out & about during hours I would be sleeping to get a lot of errands run.

2.  What kind of errands? I bought all the things in the world. (Not really, but it felt like that and filled up my wee tiny car.)  At one point I sent Spouseman a text  saying, “At Target, waiting for Costco to open so I can do the pantry-foods restock. Not impulse-shopping tho.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Big lie. Is it possible to visit Target without impulse shopping? Not for me. No guilt though,  since I only impulse-shop sale items that are either shelf-stable consumables or already on a needs list. Still, I had to smile when the cashier went all poker-faced looking at my cart. A snow shovel, a Christmas sweater with a llama on it, drain cleaner, a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats, a pack of metallic Sharpies, Tostitos, cat treats, and a leather belt. Among other things.

(I am not listing all the errands I ran or things bought because oy. It was just groceries and etc, but…So. Much Etc.)

3.  Getting stuff is only half the battle. By the time I got home and carried All The Things in, unboxed & put everything away, cleaned up the debris, and finished all re-organization that goes along with seasonal Big Purchases Day, I was exhausted & hungry.

4.   So I made myself a festive, celebratory lunch of New Snack Foods & Fresh Fruits.

4.5 And a fresh pot of tea. See: point #1.

5. Performed some overdue authoring maintenance and posted “I sell books” reminders to social media. And thing happened that’s never happened before: it resulted in a sale.  (I mean, I’m sure sales sometimes happen as a result, but immediately?  For the title I promoted? That’s unprecedented. And a happy thing.)

5. I also did make an itsy-bitsy bit of progress in Ghost Town between lunch and library time. And based on past performance, I’ll finish the short-story verbing project tonight before bed.

6. Oh, by the way, if anyone is wondering why I waste time blogging instead of getting more writing done, welllllll. It’s simple. I can blog while dead tired & distracted by other activities, so it’s easy to dash these off in the half-hour or so while supper is cooking.  Writing while supper is cooking is a Bad Idea. That way lies ruined food and charred pots at best. Creative immersion is…not compatible with worldly attention. So that’s a thing I don’t do.

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures later this week.
(I meant to be a hermit all month long, but life has decided otherwise. Good times.)



Today’s Passing Thought

A little poem about writing for a gray, cold December evening

I am resolved. I WILL make WIP progress today.
Despite the cat’s best efforts to drive me up a wall by howling at high volume any time I begin to concentrate.
Despite body aches & toothache & headache.
Even tho’ it’s night now & I spent the whole day playing with other things.
Gonna write.

After dinner.
I promise.

Hold me to it, people. Ask for evidence. Demand snippets. Whatever.

Accountability is a real motivator.

Okay. Well. Y’know, carry on.

Authoring Writing Life

Happy Author Bubble

TL;DR  The good: someone bought my ebooks as a friendly gesture because they knew me for reasons unrelated to writing. The better: they recommended the books to a second person who bought them too. The BEST: the second person liked the books even more!

Full explanation. It’s long, but I feel bubbly, so I’m sharing backstory and all.

I work the Butterflies & Blooms exhibit at the Chicago Botanic Garden every summer. It’s a volunteer gig done in four-hour shifts, and I’ve hopped from shift to shift over the years as as my library schedule allowed. Since many volunteers have worked the same shift all five years the exhibit’s been open, I’ve gotten to know dozens of fascinating, knowledgeable, helpful, friendly people.

The volunteer pool is a fascinating and inclusive group, mostly retirees from all backgrounds imaginable. Being casual acquaintances who might never otherwise cross social paths, we cover All the Usual Topics during quiet periods between visitor groups. You know the list: what do you do, where do you live, how’s the family, what’s new in your life, etc… Since I’m an author,  writing anecdotes are one of the things I end up sharing.

Few of the others are speculative fiction readers,  but they ask great questions about the nuts and bolts aspects and  are cheerfully supportive in a general way. Their reactions and respect are welcome reminders that the wide world is much bigger and more accepting of independent authors than the pop-culture and publishing pools where I spend most of my time swimming.

One of the volunteers on my new shift last year–let’s call her Butterfly Reader One–was so tickled to learn she knew a published author she grabbed some of my ebooks so she could say she owned them. Despite not being a speculative fiction reader (at all)  she ended up reading and enjoying the Partners books and Flight Plan, then read and loved Extraordinary. This made me giddy, and I was profuse with thanks and gratitude, but  of course I chalked up the praise to politeness and casual friendliness because that’s how I roll.

This year Reader One and I are both on a new shift together, and a few weeks ago I learned that  Reader One mentioned to another volunteer that I wrote books she’d enjoyed. (!) The way I heard this news was the truly glee-making part.  Reader Two approached me to say how much she had enjoyed Extraordinary, and did I have any print books–because she would love to own a signed book.

I restrained myself to merely hopping up and down and clapping, but picture the happy Kermit flailing inside. Yeah. There was flailing.

Of course I shared the news that I have two novels in print form, then issued the disclaimer that they are in a different series. We chatted about the two series and what she liked about Extraordinary (more strictly internal happy-dancing on my part) and she wrote down the titles of the other books in the Rough Passages collection.

I honestly thought it would end there, but this week…well. This week Reader Two brought in the copy of Controlled Descent she purchased, and handed me a pen.


Soon after that I handed out two business cards to two more volunteers who were delighted by the sight of the print book.

Color me happy.