Done…but with setbacks.

So.  I got the editing job halfway done by Thursday of last week (after migraines, and getting hit by a cold right after having gotten the document).  And then…I woke up my laptop to get to work on Friday only to find that Windows decided to restart.  And LibreOffice didn’t back up my work that I’d forgotten to save.

So.  Yeah.  I had to RE-DO everything, then keep going.  I finished Monday, picked up the check Tuesday,* and did the deposit on Wednesday.

I finished up the edit on Gods and Monsters.  It’s in the hands of beta readers right now. At least, it’s in two pairs of hands.  After working around another setback.

Hotmail, what I usually use for email, is NOT WORKING RIGHT.  And hasn’t been reliable for weeks.  It did not want to allow me to attach the document this morning.  So, I used a recovered gmail account to send it off.  Two of my four beta readers currently have it (that I know of–I’ve sent it to a third), and one of my beta readers hasn’t responded, yet.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up the second Liquid Diet Chronicles book, and am writing on it.  Current word count is 7800 words, and I’m aiming at 10K before the end of the day.

Wish me luck on that; I leave to pick my kids up from school in about fifteen minutes.


*I also ordered a book for the kids’ school library: this one.  I got my son a copy, and he says it’s helpful.  I took that copy in when I picked up the check.

Okay, then.

Years ago, while I was still teaching college, I looked at outcomes (i.e., my students and how prepared they were–or weren’t–for college-level work), and decided that my kids were absolutely not going to public school.  And then, I did more research in town to figure out where to send them.

My choices were limited: there was the secular public school that cost more per year per kid than university tuition at a bigger school than where I taught, there was the Catholic school (great academics), the Lutheran school (K-8 only), and another, smaller religious school.

I went with the smaller religious school that was a mile or so from my workplace.  They offered sibling discounts to non-Catholics, and were just about as strong academically.

They also did preschool.  Which turned out to be a necessity, since my other half was doing an accounting degree, and I had to switch from teaching online to a traditional classroom, and the schedules weren’t perfect.

So, time has passed, and I no longer have the job with the university.  The kids still go to that religious school.  I can’t do a whole lot with the fundraisers (my energy levels won’t permit it), but I do keep the kids’ classrooms (and the library) supplied with things like Clorox wipes, wet wipes, paper towels, and other things I buy at Sam’s Club.

So, a month or so ago, when I brought in Clorox wipes for the librarian (she doesn’t get to add things to the school supplies list, and it was still in flu season), she asked if I ever did editing.  Copy editing.  Because she was finishing up her dissertation.

Thursday, she sent me a draft, and her advisor’s advice.

I have an editing job.

Treading water

I’ve not had energy for much for the past month.  The electrical work is done, but the roof repair guy never got back to us with a quote.  I don’t know if it was a SNAFU with the email contact, or what, but the roof repairs still need done.  Adding a ball (repairs) into the things I’ve already had trouble juggling has not helped.

In the meantime, I have been writing when and as I can–a lot of the time, that’s while I’m in the car, waiting on the kids, and in long hand in a draft book.  And editing.  And revising.  And beta-reading and editing for friends.

Last week, I ordered a fountain pen I’d been really wanting for a while.  It’s a limited edition color of a favorite model of pen, and it came in at my favorite online store…and was gone again.  And I almost cried.  Well, that store sent me a coupon for my birthday.  I had an idea of what I wanted, and I went to go make the order.  And, on a whim, I checked to see if they had the LE pen I really wanted…and it was, indeed, back in stock.  So, I sprang on it like a leopard on a gazelle.  And waited.  And it came last Saturday.

I cleaned it up,* inked it up, and took it with me when we went to visit my in-laws on Sunday.  And, since various elements of my chronic illness were acting up, I stayed in one spot while everyone was outside playing/watching the kids play.  And I pulled the pen and a notebook out and started writing to see what was going to come out.

Clearly, once I finish the projects I’m currently working on (Gods and Monsters, Having a Pint, Schrodinger Paradox), I’ll be writing the kids’ book where the main character is a ferret.  Because that’s what spilled out of my new pen.  All of the first chapter, and part of the second, are first draft finished.



*Side note: always clean any fountain pen before you try inking and writing with it.  If you ink a brand new fountain pen without cleaning it first, you will, more than likely, have ink flow/writing problems, including hard starts, skipping, and a whole host of other things that could go wrong.  And it’s not the pen’s fault, but the owner’s–many pens are shipped, new, with lubricants and dust and other debris from manufacture in the feed and nib.  Cleaning removes that, and lets the pen’s performance be what it was supposed to be from the get-go. 

Quick update

First draft of the fourth Modern Gods book, Gods and Monsters, is finished, as of yesterday.  It’s about 84.5K words, currently.  I’m setting it aside for at least a week, if not two, before I do a second draft.

Also yesterday, I finished the first chapter of the Liquid Diet Chronicles book 2.  Tentative title for that is Having a Pint.  Started chapter 2 this morning, and am still working.

All this while ignoring the distraction of a stranger puttering around me, putting in ceiling fans and lighting, in a house that was built outside city limits in 1970, and clearly not up to code in some areas–the ceiling fans replaced were not in fan-rated boxes, but bolted to braces laid across the rafters, and the rafters weren’t spaced evenly or correctly, which took some creative, lateral thinking for the electrician.

If you are in Jasper County, Missouri, I heartily recommend JB Electric.  The young man did a stellar job, and cleaned up after himself (drywall bits etc from putting in the junction boxes).

Back to work

Monday and Tuesday were okay.  Wednesday, though…on Wednesday, I woke up with what I thought was a sinus headache.  As it turned out, it wasn’t just a sinus headache.  I’ve been guzzling coffee and Cherry Coke, munching aspirin and acetaminophen every six hours, and taking antihistamines at night since I woke up with that headache.  Because it turned out to be a light and sound and cold sensitive migraine.  I got a little bit done on Wednesday, but not a whole lot.

Thursday, the kids had a snow* day, so I didn’t have to get out in the cold…but I couldn’t find my sunglasses to deal with the light levels needed in the house on a cloudy, nasty day outside.  And yes, the pain was a good deal worse and more persistent than Wednesday.  I skimmed through some of what I’d had written on Gods and Monsters, and discovered that, in switching over from Word to LibreOffice Writer, all of my formatting had been stripped out.  Nothing I wanted to be centered was centered, and Italics were gone.  So I started going through, fixing stuff.

Friday was a scheduled day off for the kids.  I found my sunglasses, but also discovered that a couple of the kids’ favorite shows really exacerbated the migraine, which hadn’t eased in the slightest from Thursday.  I did get some more editing done–I finished the day about halfway through G&M, fixing formatting (which will likely need fixed again), and fleshing a few things out.

Today, when I woke up, my headache had eased off some.  It hurt only as much as it had after the meds had taken effect on Thursday and Friday.  It’s currently only a dull murmur, two and a half hours after aspirin, generic Tylenol, and about 30 oz of really strong, black coffee.  I’ve been able to focus thoughts, so I’ve picked back up with actually writing.

This week has been far from a total loss.  So far, not counting what I hope to accomplish today, I’ve managed almost 7,000 words on Gods and Monsters.  At the moment, between that addition and the small revisions I’ve made, I’m a bit over 80K words on that manuscript draft.  I’ve got three chapters to go, and I’m working again.

And I’ve got the day to do it.  My much beloved other half has taken both the kids to visit his parents, and left me here to ride out the dregs of the headache (which should be all the way gone tonight or tomorrow).  Yeah, I’ll have some work to do when they get home (homework I didn’t make them get done while their little voices were literally painful for me and housework), but it’s going to wait while I can write.

Honestly thankful for the ability to think, and to focus.  I really hate it when I can’t.




*Snow, my ass.  Southwest Missouri didn’t just get snow.  We got thunderstorms.  Freezing rain.  Freezing fog.  Thundersleet.  Some areas got tornadoes.  We got a little bit of snow on top of that, but it was mostly liquid that froze, or ice, coming down.  And the temperature at 12:01 Thursday morning was the warmest it got all day–the temperature plummeted from 29 degrees Farenheit to 14 degrees (with a wind chill of zero) over the course of the day, and Friday’s morning low was 9 degrees (wind chills below zero).  And we’re just about forty minutes north of Arkansas.


I’ve got three more chapters, I think.  And then the first draft of Gods and Monsters will be finished.

As of yesterday, word count had increased to 77,200 from 72,000 before this week started.

I am currently writing the first of the side-plot chapters I was planning.  I’ll see how much I can get done today.  Should be interesting.

I can tell you this, though–between the writing and the weather, my hands are really aching something fierce.

Finally making progress again!

Last week took a lot of worries off my mind: we got ahold of people to do some repairs–some electrical, some roof–and lo and behold, the muse jumped me today.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right one at first.  I’m still working on Gods and Monsters.  And it may be the last volume in the series for a while–it seems like it comes in fits and spurts rather than like other pieces do.

But today, Meg from the Liquid Diet Chronicles butted in line.  I got the first part of the first chapter of book 2 (about 1200 words) hammered out in about half an hour this morning, and I know where the rest of the chapter’s going.  Got a good idea of where the rest of the book is going, too.

That would have been enough to have me celebrating.  But that wasn’t all.  I also got 400 words of the climactic chapter of Gods and Monsters written.  And I have an idea of where and how the side plot’s going to fit in, and about how much that’s going to be.  And I’m not done writing for the day–not if I want to be able to go to sleep easily in an hour or so.

Yes, I have other work I need to get done tomorrow.  I have to talk to my pharmacy and unfuck a FUBARed set of thyroid ‘scrips, and I need to get our trash service switched over to autodraft.  Because I’m downright sick of buying stamps for bills, and everything else is autodraft.  I may need to actually go get my ‘scrips, too.

But I’m still hoping tomorrow’s as productive as today was.