Um…no May flowers…

They’ve been flooded out in a lot of areas.  So have farmers.  We haven’t flooded (more than our front yard and driveway covered by a temporary flash flood), but that’s a function of where we are, more than anything else.  And if the drainage was better (or it hadn’t poured 3″ on us in less than an hour that one time) we wouldn’t be flooding at all.

It doesn’t get up to the house.  But that’s about all I can say for it.

The kids are on their second week out of school for the summer.  So far, they’re keeping up with their assigned chores, for the most part.  Kathryn didn’t do hers, yesterday, but she’s got a nasty case of contact dermatitis all over her face, hands, and on the insides of her knees.  It looks like poison ivy, but isn’t spreading to anyone else, and it’s not weeping.  She needs to not roll in freshly cut grass, I guess.

I’ve gotten word back from all but one of the beta readers for Gods and Monsters, and I’ve started the revision process.  When the brain fog lets me focus on actually thinking–yesterday was really bad.  Wish me luck.


Verging on ridiculous

Yesterday, I wrote a post about treading water.

Last night, my area had several major storm systems converge and emerge, spitting out tornadoes left and right, and dumping several inches of rain on us.

This morning, I woke up to an utterly flooded front yard and driveway.

Y’all, yesterday’s post was supposed to be a metaphor, not a prediction!

Treading water

This is the last week that the kids sorta have school.  I say sorta, because there’s nothing serious going on–just wrapping up, playing together, and doing some last minute in-town field trips (1st and 2nd grades go to a park on the opposite corner of town today, and 3rd grade is going bowling).  Tomorrow, they’re out for the summer as of 11:00 a.m.

I’ve  been having difficulty concentrating between trying to figure out how to re-set routines for summer, worrying about my aunt (surgery was successful, chemo starts this week or next), and trying not to worry about my mom’s other sisters’ dramatics.

Normally, I’ve got about five trains of thought going at once, and all on different tracks.  One of them recently has been frustrated and disgusted with what state my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has let the house get into over the winter.  And that particular train of thought has been derailing my efforts to write: I sit down, and the bits that make the words go are drowned out by the bits screaming at me to get up and deal with this mess, or that mess, or the other mess.

So, I’ve started working the FlyLady method again.  Working for a week in each zone.  Little bit at a time.  My library (zone 5–where I started again last month) is (mostly) clean.  Dining room is liveable (zone 1–first week of the month, and I have kids, remember), I can work in the kitchen again (zone 2–lots done, but lots still needs done in there).  Bathrooms…I got sick last week.  Both passing kidney stones and stress-induced CFS attack.  I got a lot done, but not the floors.  The master bedroom…I may actually be able to get that dealt with, with the exception of the closet that needs some work done and some storage things added.  I’ll deal with the closet next month.

Next week, zone 5 rolls around again (living rooms).  And, since my library’s still in maintainable good shape, I’ll be working on the family room.  That one is going to be hard to maintain.  That’s the living space the kids spend the most time in.  Paper, crayons, color pencils, regular pencils, DVDs, and general kid-mess EVERYWHERE.  All the time.  Even after it’s just been cleaned.

But keeping that room presentable is going to be part of the kids’ responsibility this summer.  Stuff they have to do before they’re allowed a chance at extras that might come with little bits of money.

And, with visible progress being made…the bit screaming about the state the house is in is starting to shut up and let the bits that makes the words go be heard.

Which is a good thing.  Meg the vampire has been nagging me, and I’ve got word back from my beta readers on Gods and Monsters, and I need to run the edits through.

Bloody hell!

I lost about 400 words when my laptop decided to update and wouldn’t let me save, first.  That was…Friday, I think.

My aunt, my mom’s second youngest sister (there are four of them–my mom is the oldest) was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago.  And went in for surgery this morning.  Assuming they were on schedule, it should have started fifteen minutes ago.  My impressions are that they caught it early–they don’t usually rush treatment if it’s not going to keep it from spreading.  I’m hoping I’m right, but I’m playing Telephone, trying to get details from people who don’t understand the information they’re being given by someone who doesn’t understand the information she’s been given and won’t ask for clarification.

And I’ve gotten sick.  Again.

I am about ready to scream.  This has been a frustrating–and terrifying–couple of weeks.

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.