Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover

IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT IN DEATH VALLEY! CHANCE OF RAIN? NEVER!

Later today Paul and I will head up to Baton Rouge for the LSU game! HUZZAH! There’s nothing like a game in Tiger Stadium, and this marks the ninth straight season Paul and I have attended at least one game up there. Both campus and stadium are beautiful, and it’s always interesting to see the changes to the area and neighborhood since the catastrophic floods a few years ago. The Tigers are 3-0, but have a tough row to hoe yet–three future opponents are ranked in the Top 10 currently–and at least one more is ranked in the Top 25. This might be the last game we attend this season–if the Tigers continue to win, those late season games become more and more important, and I seriously doubt any of our friends with season tickets are going to surrender tickets to the games against Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, or Mississippi State.

And while it would be exciting as all hell to see LSU run the table…the schedule is just too difficult and honestly, after watching Alabama dismantle Ole Miss last weekend I don’t think the New England Patriots would be able to beat them. Even two or three losses on this schedule, though, can’t be disappointing.

We finished watching Ozark last night and now can’t wait for Season Three. The show is so dark, the writing so crisp and tight, the acting so understated yet real–it’s one of the best shows available to watch; Southern Gothic with a strong strain of noir running through it. I’m definitely sorry to have finished the season, and now am champing at the bit for the next one.

But despite the desert television became in the late summer, now shows are returning that we watch and entire seasons dropping on Hulu and Netflix to sink our teeth back into, which is lovely; now we don’t have the time to watch everything we want to see, which is a terrific problem to have.

I am going to spend the rest of this morning cleaning and getting organized; I left work early yesterday to get started on the weekend chores (knowing that today would be pretty much shot because of THE TRIP TO TIGER STADIUM) and then hopefully I’ll be able to get some reading done (Circe is calling my name) and some writing (I hope to get through at least three chapters of the Scotty revision this weekend).

Hope springs eternal.

And now back to the spice mines.

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Tell Me What You Want Me To Do

Somehow another week has gone past and it’s Friday already. I am halfway through the second draft revision of Chapter Two (still early enough that I am counting baby steps as milestones), which pleases me enormously. It’s not been difficult so far; it’s actually been a rather pleasant surprise to see oh, that actually works and I don’t need to revise/alter/rewrite that, although I am sure that will start coming soon.

Nothing gold can stay.

Or something.

I’m excited about going to the LSU game tomorrow, and as this week of work comes to a close, I am hoping to get a lot of chores done tonight because putting them off is simply not an option since we will be driving up to Baton Rouge tomorrow in the late afternoon, and I will undoubtedly be completely exhausted when we get home from the game. It’s going to be hot, for one thing, in the stadium, plus all that nervous energy and jumping up and down and screaming? Yeah, I’ll be very drained and tired when we finally roll into the Lost Apartment after the game tomorrow night, and will undoubtedly sleep the sleep of the dead Saturday night.

It is still ridiculously hot; the heat and humidity did not break after Labor Day as it so generally does, but the evenings are getting cooler. This is quite lovely as I generally get home from work after dark and it’s nice to not sweat to death while walking from the car to the door of the house. So glad global warming is a liberal conspiracy…I suspect we may not even get winter this year–not that I mind, of course, but still.

Ozark continues to enthrall. We are limiting ourselves to a single episode per night to make it last longer since we’re enjoying it so much, but man, is this second season dark. I thought the first was, but wow. And seeing how the characters are developing and changing is astonishing. The cast is knocking it out of the park, and everything is coming to a boil…there are only three episodes left before we have finished season two, and I can only imagine what hell is going to break loose in that season finale.

I am also hoping to spend some time finishing Circe this weekend. Like Ozark, I’m taking it slow and relishing every word, every sentence. Madeline Miller is such a brilliant writer, and she reminds me some of Mary Renault, whom I should revisit at some time as an adult (I read most of her work when I was a teenager; I am certain I will enjoy it more now); The Last of the Wine is definitely worth a revisit.

I was thinking the other day (well, last night as I washed the dishes) that I should do a definitive (or somewhat definitive) study of gay representation in work written by non-gay writers; it’s one of the reasons I am still holding onto unread copies of A Little Life and City on Fire. Part of my book-hoarding tendencies come from this notion that someday I will write literary criticism; which is why I hold on to my romantic suspense novels from the 60’s and 70’s, for example. I’m getting a little better about that; donating the hard copies once the ebook goes on sale for ridiculously cheap–it’s also part of the same mentality of someday I’ll be able to support myself again as a full-time writer.

Dreams. Never let go of the dreams. I imagine I’ll still be dreaming as they push my dead body into the crematorium.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg

I have to go to the doctor this morning; nothing serious, just the bi-annual check-up required for prescription renewals, which is very important.

I’ve been sleeping well this week, but waking up every morning around six. I stay in bed, of course–six is no time for anyone to be out of bed if you don’t have to be–but it’s been kind of lovely. I don’t know if my body adjusted in some way after the Bouchercon trip, or what, but it’s been really nice being able to get some good rest every night–hell, the last two nights I fell asleep in my easy chair, which never happens.

I am now well into the revision of the Scotty book; plugging my way through Chapter One. Rewriting/revising is hard work, I think, much harder than writing an original draft, which is saying something–given how much trouble I have committing to writing first drafts these days. But I am quite pleased with how Royal Street Reveillon is coming along, and I do think it’s going to wind up being one of the best Scotty books ever. If I can get through a chapter a day, the book will be done with this revision by mid-October, and then I can copy-edit and line-edit, and hopefully do major clean up and get it turned in for early November.

One can hope, at any rate.

I’m not quite sure how to understand this not enough hours in every day thing that I’ve been experiencing since getting back from Bouchercon, but there you have it. I haven’t been able to finish reading Circe, for one thing, and we’re watching a single episode of Ozark every night, and I suddenly find that I am falling asleep in my chair and it’s time for bed every night. This is making me panic more than a little bit, of course, because that means my progress on everything I need to get done is taking longer than it needs to, and I still can’t find time to go to the gym, either, which is maddening. I’m certainly not overly thrilled about having to go to the doctor this morning either–why does everything have to be so difficult, you know?

So maddening.

And now it’s back to the spice mines. Sigh.

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Smells Like Teen Spirit

Well, we got tickets for this Saturday’s LSU game: GEAUX TIGERS! It’ll be fun to watch them play live, and of course, a good time is always had in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers are playing Louisiana Tech, and coming off a big win at Auburn they have to be careful not to have a letdown; the secondary Louisiana universities, like so many secondary university football teams in the South, are a lot tougher than most people give them credit for. SO, it could be what’s called a trap game, a game that on paper the better-known team should win easily, but could be easily lulled into thinking it will be easy and therefore not be as prepared as they should be and be surprised and lose–kind of like Troy last year (Troy also knocked off Nebraska this year, so look out for Troy, people.)

Last night we watched another episode of Ozark that was incredibly tightly written, beautifully shot, and exceptionally acted; as it came to an end I said to Paul, “where on earth do they go from here?” We’re only about half-way through the second season, and this season has been crazily intense, and Laura Linney’s brilliance is really starting to shine through. Dark, Gothic and at times startlingly funny and scathingly witty, I absolutely love this show, and even though we haven’t finished season two, I am already starting to miss it, and hate the thought of it ending.

I worked two longish days this week already–but the rest of the week should slide into the weekend fairly easily. I have an eight-hour shift today, but tomorrow is only a half-day and I have to go see my doctor in the morning; Friday is another eight hour day and then it’s the weekend. Huzzah!

I haven’t had a chance to do much writing the last couple of days; I am still trying to get caught up on all the email that accumulated while I was gone–and this is my second week back at work. Bouchercon really knocked me off my game this year, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back to writing this morning or this evening. I really want to make some detailed progress on the Scotty book, and I thought about ways to improve my story “Never Kiss a Stranger” last night.

I feel disconnected from my writing; the Bouchercon break kind of did that, other than the Scotty. I feel like there’s something I’m not finishing, that I should be working on, but all I can remember is the Scotty…I kind of hate when that happens. OH! Yes, of course, how could I forget my story “A Little More Jazz for the Axeman”? I’ve really been enjoying my excursions into New Orleans history lately; I feel like there’s so much I don’t know about New Orleans and its rich and varied past that could be fodder for so many stories and/or novels. I really am thinking it might be a smart idea to write a series set in the past in New Orleans; I know so many experts on New Orleans and Louisiana history, as well as so many people who work in research collections and archives, that it should be fairly simple to actually connect with people and get their help to find the materials I need to write something new and spectacular and different.

It’s a thought, anyway.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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Come and Talk to Me

Well, that Saints game on Sunday was hideous, but I will take the W. Strange how both LSU and the Saints literally came down to the last second of the game to come away with the win this weekend.

In other exciting news, I started the revision of Royal Street Reveillon at long last, and while I know I am just getting started, it was all so easy and worked so well and flowed so nicely that I really have high hopes that this might actually go quickly and easily, provided I stay motivated and energized. Fingers crossed, people. I’m actually kind of excited; Scotty’s voice is very clear in my head, and I know exactly what I want this book to be about and how I want it all to happen. This could be, with all self-deprecation aside, the best of the Scottys.

At least I certainly hope so.

I’d hate to think I’d already peaked in the series….because if that’s true, then I should end the series.

And I don’t want to end the Scotty series yet, I don’t think.

The second season of Ozark is even darker than the first, which I didn’t think entirely possible. I love this show; the acting and writing are stellar, and you never can see what direction the show is going to go; things just seem to keep getting worse and worse for the characters in every episode. There was also some pretty amazing sleight-of-hand worked by the writers; the show and the main family were not what they seemed to be in the very beginning; as the layers continue to be peeled back, as we get to know them and see their faults and flaws, we know them better but at the same time they become more complicated and complex and harder to know.

Not an easy thing to do.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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Masterpiece

 How bout them Tigers?

I’m still aglow from yesterday’s big upset win over Auburn, and I have to say, LSU not only gave me a heart attack yesterday, but impressed me quite a bit by how well they played. They raced out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter–and it could have been worse–only to make some mistakes and fall behind 21-10. I am completely ashamed to say that at that point in the game, I honestly thought well, this is going to be a blow out. What happened? They were playing so well. 

You’d think I’d know better by now. LSU came back, and the final score, 22-21, was reached by transfer kicker Cole Tracy putting a forty-two yarder square through the uprights to give the Tigers the win as time ran out and silence a stadium full of people. The LSU-Auburn rivalry, almost always played in September, has resulted in a lot of classic games that went on to be named: the Earthquake Game, the Night The Barn Burned, etc. There have been some blowouts along the way–LSU’s 2011 and 2015 pastings of Auburn come to mind; as well as the 2014 31-7 LSU loss. This is only the third time LSU has won at Auburn this century. Auburn has come back from losing to LSU before–in 2013 Auburn lost 35-21 at Tiger Stadium and played for the national title; last year they lost at Tiger Stadium 27-23, wound up winning the West and playing for the SEC title–and along the way beat both teams that played for the national title (Alabama and Georgia) in the regular season. In fact, Auburn played three of the four teams in the play-offs during the regular season, losing only to Clemson…they played Georgia twice, playing them again and losing in the SEC title game. So, it’s early in the season; far too early to make much of this win–LSU has games against Alabama and Georgia themselves to look ahead to this season; and Mississippi State and any number of SEC games that could rise up and bite them in the ass….but for now, we can relish the likelihood of a Top Ten ranking and showing all the nay-sayers you can’t ever count the LSU Tigers out.

A lot of broadcasters and experts are eating their words this morning, I would imagine.

I think I am back to normal at long last this morning; yesterday I did some chores and dug myself out of most of the mess in my kitchen; filing, making files, putting things away, and working on the laundry and cleaning the living room. There’s still work to be done, of course, but progress was made, and I also made some progress with my writing yesterday. I know, I know, who am I and what have I done with Gregalicious? But I am pretty excited about some things, and I am really excited to get back to work on the Scotty book, as well as the short stories I’ve been toying with for some time. I like the concept of the new one I am working on, “A Little More Jazz for the Axeman,” which I think has a lot of potential; and of course I’m still playing around with “The Blues Before Dawn,” and “Never Kiss a Stranger,” of course; and I need to get organized to keep track of my life again.

And Madeline Miller’s Circe continues to enthrall.

So, for today, I need to take the suitcase back to storage and I need to put air in the tires of the car; and then it’s back home to get some things done before the Saints game, which starts at noon. Then again…it’s always easier to do things out of the house during the Saints game, when tumbleweeds roll in the wind down St. Charles Avenue and the city turns into a ghost town. I also need to get the last few touches of some things done around the house, and perhaps today I can begin the deconstruction of the manuscript I’ve been putting off for quite some time now.

But it’s nice to feel like I fit into my own life again. It really, really is.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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Giving Him Something He Can Feel

GEAUX TIGERS!

I think I have finally, somehow, managed to come back into myself as a Gregalicious, after the long, drawn-out malaise of this past week. Everything conspired against me; I never felt mentally rested,  always felt slightly out of it or disconnected from my everyday life, etc. Bouchercon, and other literary events like it, have that effect on me, but it usually doesn’t take this long to start feeling Gregalicious again. I love my day job–it’s absolutely perfect for me, I can’t imagine doing anything else–and I am very lucky that at least I have a day job that neither makes me crazy nor that I hate.

And having had every shitty job imaginable (or so it seems), this is quite lovely.

I hope that today–since I awoke feeling rested and like myself for the first time this week–will result in me getting a lot done today, around the football games. The LSU-Auburn game this afternoon will be an interesting tell as to how good LSU actually is this year (how good Auburn is as well, for that matter) and has important division implications as well as national ones. The season is young, though, and the Murderer’s Row section of the schedule (Florida, Ole Miss, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi State, Texas A&M) is yet to come. And after the Saints stunk up the Dome last weekend…GEAUX TIGERS.

We got caught up on Castle Rock, which actually took an incredibly interesting turn that I didn’t see coming, and so now I am really curious to see where it’s going to go from here. (I also continue to be blown away by the ridiculous beauty of Bill Skarsgaard.) We also watched the premiere episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, which also is off to a terrific and interesting start–but almost every season started off interesting, and so many of them wound up going off the rails (we never finished watching Hotel, for example) that we can never be sure what we’re going to get with the show. We also finished watching Sharp Objects, which was terrific (I see Emmys in the future for Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson), and there are so many other shows now to watch, and movies released to Netflix and other streaming services, that it’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago we didn’t have anything to watch. I also want to finish reading Circe.

But the house is a mess, and I need to run the suitcase back to storage, and the car tires need air–but other than that and cleaning and writing, I have the weekend relatively free. Paul is going out shopping and running errands with our friend Lisa today–he has some ideas about turning the area outside our stairs into a sitting area for when the weather is better–and they are launching that project today.

It does feel nice being myself again, and I can spend the day doing some reading and cleaning. I am writing a new short story, and I need to read up a little bit on New Orleans history in order for the story to actually work. We shall see.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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