I am not dead! Circumstantial evidence aside.

I am not dead! Circumstantial evidence aside.


My life has absorbed me again. Every time I almost make it back… But I will be back. I will be back, and blogging, fairly soon. And when I am, there will be a new book out in the world! I’m very excited. (If only someone else would finish the editing for me, I’d be even more excited! Any takers?



So yeah. Remember that bit in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail?


No, not that bit.


Okay, the bit right before that bit.

Yeah. That one.


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Breaking the Tumblr Habit

Breaking the Tumblr Habit

It’s soooo haaaaard…

Okay, I’m managing. It’s only when I want to avoid thinking (which, you know–is so rare! Really!) that I want to go to Tumblr.

I don’t even contribute content to Tumblr. I just scroll, and reblog what I like or what I think is important, very occasionally commenting but mostly not.

Kinda like how I do Twitter lately.

I had to draw the line, though. I am so ridiculously past deadline…so I set Firefox to not let me on Tumblr at all, via Leechblock. I set Chrome to only let me on distract-y websites for a minute at a time, via Productivity Owl.

Generally I use Twitter on my phone, so I’m currently leaving that across the room, way out of reach and sight.

Productivity is hard, yo. I gotta do all I can to help me focus.

It’s so ridiculous that it’s so hard. I don’t even know why! I love this story. I love writing. But every time I try to steer my brain at it, brain acts like a horse refusing a jump. Dodge left. Swerve right. Stop suddenly and dump your rider into the ditch. (I know to be ready for this and also I’m not actually riding my brain, so it’s not as bad as it sounds.)

Maybe the problem is the blasted middle. It’s the second book of a trilogy. It’s ALL middle. One of my biggest issues with writing is commitment–I want to write it all, right now, in THIS book. Always. In the middle you have to commit. You have to set aside a lot of shiny, in order to focus on THE SHINY of the story you’re working on. Too much shiny is blinding and also incomprehensible. I’ve got to be selective. And I dunwanna.

Which is just too blasted bad. I’m going to do this, by gum.

So there.

In other news, last week I was going to eat a yogurt and I looked at the ingredients first. Milk, sugar–wait, what? I did not eat the yogurt. I made my own, and it was super-simple.

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp of maple syrup or brown sugar, or to taste

Mix it together and pretend you were gonna make a pie but decided just to eat the filling. 😉

Yeah, yeah, I added sugar. But it wasn’t the SECOND INGREDIENT BY VOLUME! I’m not trying to go sugar-free, I just want to not eat what the food industry thinks is an appropriate amount of sugar.

Also, I added 2 tsp and it wasn’t quite enough, so I added a packet of Equal and that was just a little bit too much (though still pretty tasty.)

I was really proud of myself because I knew, ballpark anyway, how much of what stuff to put in to make it come out within tweaking distance of what I wanted, and that’s because of my experience with overnight oatmeal.

Also last week I made chicken with orange and yellow peppers and 3/4 of an onion and it was pretty dang good.

Keep it up and I might one day learn to actually keep myself in healthy food.

Right, so– 750 words nearly done. I gotta get back to editing Hiro II, and making those commitments.


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Editing Amid Issues

Editing Amid Issues

I’m still editing Hiro II. I shouldn’t say it like that, really, because a lot of the time that I’ve been trying to edit, I really haven’t been editing. So I am still intending to edit, but doing it a lot more than I was. Or something.

Definitely accomplishing more.

It’s hard to keep the motivation up when things are going on, though. I spent most of today with a headache (and at work), had to have a root canal, I’m having an ongoing and VERY distracting issue having to do with lady bits…life is hard, y’all.

Made much the worse when I allow any news to cross my path. Which I feel I must, because I have to be ready to defend Dreamers and health care and lots of other people/things loudly at the drop of a stupid red hat…

Anyway. Whine, whine, whine. I need some cheese to go with that.

And to get back to work.


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Not-Lazy Sunday in Bed

Not-Lazy Sunday in Bed

I’m running out of time on Hiro II. I’m actually overdue–the manuscript should have been sent to fellow TDPer, the awesome and patient Erin Zarro, on Friday. But we’ve talked and I’m still working and that is a thing I will not get down on myself about. It’s important to both of us (to all of TDP!) to get the book right.

Working at my desk, for whatever reason, has been hard. I think it’s because I need to do some free-ranging thinking to get everything to come together properly, and my desk (perhaps all desks?) inhibits that. Don’t know why. I don’t have a rigid system there or anything.

But whatever. I’m curled up on my bed with my cat and a pile of stuff I might need including a hundred note cards, three different pens (a black pen, a back-up black pen, and a red pen) a highlighter, post-it flags, a remote connection to my desktop where the Scrivener file is… I’ve got my Hiro II playlist on, which seems to be heavy in Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, and Florence and the Machine. The blinds are open enough to give light but not enough to let what’s outside the windows distract me.

I love my room, y’all. I love my bed. My cat is cute and fluffy. I love this story.

Let’s do this.

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Suddenly Good Credit? Dumb Things Not to Fall For

So in case you were looking for something not to do, take my advice and don’t get a tablet from Verizon unless you are absolutely sure that’s what you want and how you want to go.

We are an internet household, but we had basically one internet device per person. So the child’s guests were mostly left out, sitting watching her play or taking a turn while she sat around complaining. Therefore when I went into the Verizon store for an unrelated reason right before Christmas almost two years ago, I jumped on the chance to get a decent tablet for just $80 . Great deal, right? Except I’ve been paying $10 a month for its “line” so that IF someone takes it out of my house and away from the wifi (which is not what I bought it for and therefore against the rules) they can use my data on it. It’s not a fancy tablet, either! Just a pretty simple LG that I probably could have bought for $120 somewhere else. Even worse, I’m on a two-year contract, so I have to pay the full additional $240 just to have the option of letting someone burn through my data watching NCIS on Netflix in Chinese restaurants.* Can’t just cancel now that I’ve realized what I did. That’s $320 instead of maybe $120, which really sucks to realize.

Another thing? Holy hades, don’t go for a timeshare. I don’t know the other options, but I can’t see how what I signed up for (I think I was drunk. Or coffee-deprived, more likely, as I remember it was an early Sunday morning and actually I don’t drink booze) could ever be a good value, and I’m signed up with one of the most popular ones out there.

I’m paying $188 a month to get a week every other year. It’ll be paid off in about eight more years. The interest rate is horrendous. And every year I have to pay maintenance fees, which come in at at least $800 a year.

WTAF was I thinking? I DO NOT KNOW. I’m currently in a class-action lawsuit to try and get clear of that one, because it is one hell of a scam. How did it not occur to me that if I really wanted a vacation, $3056 could get me a pretty dang nice one EVERY YEAR, and if something came up and I didn’t have the money, I could still take a much-better-than-I’m-used-to vacation for half that?

So far I’ve paid $1,280.85 on the principal. I’ve paid $4,441.82 in interest.

Here I am, a few years later, figuring credit out for, really, the very first time in my life. I’ve paid off two high-interest lines of credit, and I’m working on the others. Looking around for something to cut so I can get really aggressive on the pay-down, and…yikes. What have I done?

There really ought to be a kiddie pool for when you first find out you have good credit. >.<

Feel free to add your own flubs in the comments. It’ll make me feel better.


*this is still a thing that happens to my data. The difference is that since the tablet is not allowed to leave the house, it’s done on her phone.

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Back to School

Back to School

Somehow, weirdly, this seems to be my 16th year of back-to-school time while actually working in a school?

I’m not sure how that happened. But I love where I am, so no matter how weirded out I get, don’t expect that to be changing before year #17.

Much of what I’m doing is exactly the same. Parents still don’t want to do a registration packet every year. They don’t know why they should fill out a PHLOTE (Primary Home Language Other Than English) every year (to be honest, neither do I, but it’s required) and they don’t want to fill out the lunch form when they have every intention of making their child a delicious and healthy lunch every day.

Lots of it is different. We’re a private school, so I’m the one making sure the scholarship applications get done and turned in and accepted. That is not particularly fun, let me tell you. Knowing that if I lose track of one piece of paper for one of four scholarships for one of eighty-five children we could lose anywhere from $375 to $23,506…well, at that point the child misses out too, because if they can’t pay tuition we can’t keep the school open…

Yeah. Don’t like that part. So far, so good (knock on wood!) and I’ve kept my school afloat, but I don’t like that part at all.

School started last week on Thursday. Housemate and I (she also works at a school) worked a lot of overtime and came home and put our feet up and complained in soft tired voices about our days. Every day last week. One day, I got done(ish) at my school and went to help at hers, and we got home at 9 p.m.

No matter how prepared we try to be, we never are prepared.

I’m not actually complaining (much.) Like I said, I love where I am. I love working with kids but not all day, and I love taking care of the people doing AMAZING work with said kids.

Mostly I’m just making excuses for why my new routines are not doing so great. *ducks*

But I’m still trying!

Rainbow in my Front Yard and Other News

We’re (finally!) into the monsoon in Southern Arizona. That means sun every morning, and rain most evenings. It’s kind of awesome.

So are rainbows, which we get a lot of during the monsoon. Have a crummy pic through my front window.

We continue to settle into the new house, finding out things as we go. For instance, did you know that towel bars–at least some of them–have a tiny screw at the bottom that is supposed to be tightened so they don’t fall off the wall? I’ve fixed two so far. There are a couple more towel bars (can you have too many towel bars? they are definitely oddly placed…) but they haven’t yet fallen off the wall, so we might be good. Further updates as events warrant.

I also learned how to take the cover off the exhaust fans in each bathroom and clean in there (Youtube has videos!) Man, they were downright FURRY with dust! Both work better now, though I think the front one needs its impeller replaced. I’m kind of afraid to go into work that needs fuses (yes, fuses, not circuit breakers) turned off, but I’ll probably get there. Eventually.

Like maybe when fall arrives so the whole house won’t melt if I have to turn the AC off for a few hours.

I took Duke from the kid because she never took proper care of him. He now lives the life his title implies, with a dedicated human to serve his every need. Currently he is preening on a squid.

Anywhoo…I should be editing Hiro. I’m gonna go get my sh*t together and do that.

After I call my Senators again. Are you calling? Please call. Daily, at least. You can leave messages–don’t have to talk to anyone.

For all of us, please call. Email is good too.


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