Last Christmas

Thursday, and that four day weekend inches ever closer, which is lovely.

I am very pleased to say that I got back to work on Bury Me in Satin last night (huzzah!), and managed to focus on it and write. I didn’t get the entire chapter finished, but I think I did get at least 1500 words done, and that–given how long it’s been since I’ve written a word on anything other than this blog–is something I am taking and putting in the WIN column.

I still, however, need to get some editing on the Scotty done. For some reason I just can’t seem to make myself want to even look at the damned thing, which is simply unacceptable. I’m not sure where that particular malaise is coming from, but it simply cannot and shall not stand.

I only have to work slightly less than six hours today, which is, after the lengthy days of the earlier part of the work, a bit of a relief. I do have to put in an eight hour day tomorrow rather than the usual half-day; the holidays falling on Monday and Tuesday over the next two weeks (trade off being the four day weekends) means I don’t get the lengthy twelve hour shifts that allow me to work half-days. But it’s fine. I can handle three eight-hour days in a row.

We continue to binge-watch Schitt’s Creek, which is becoming, slowly but surely, one of my favorite television shows of all time. Every member of the cast is pitch-perfect; the on-going character development, as well as the developing relationships between them, are perfect examples of how to manage a show, keep it fresh, and keep the viewers vested in it. And seriously, the fact that no one in this cast has been ever nominated for an Emmy is a national disgrace; Catherine O’Hara should have at least three of them.

Oh, and last night, thank you, Schitt’s Creek, for reminding me how much I love Tina Turner.

My computer issues continue,  and I am not certain what the problem is. I cannot afford to invest in either a new computer nor a new phone at the moment, so I am becoming more and more embittered about Apple and its deliberate methodology of undermining their own products in order to get their customers to replace them with a higher degree of frequency than is necessary.

And here’s hoping that the writing I was able to manage last night will kick-start me into getting all these things i need to get done, done.

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines.

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War

Monday morning, and all is quiet and calm in the Lost Apartment. We are finally working normal hours at the office this week, which means 12 hour days on Monday and Tuesday for me, my old normal on Wednesday and Thursday, and very short days on Fridays, which is absolutely lovely. Since Paul will be gone this Friday, I will probably run what errands need to be run when I get off work, come home and clean the house thoroughly, and perhaps watch season three of Versailles, which I am leaning toward buying just so I can finish it off. I do have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday night, but I’ll just be bouncing around the Lost Apartment for the most part, amazed at how empty and quiet it seems without Paul–as I always do.

I did manage to get chapter six of Bury Me in Satin finished, despite being so tired, and am hoping that I can get past the hump–or rather, that getting past that particular hump–will make the rest of the writing go even more smoothly. I can dream can I not?

We continue to enjoy Schitt’s Creek–Daniel Levy and Catherine O’Hara are fucking national treasures, and I do not understand why they both haven’t won Emmys, or even been nominated. I guess because it was Amazon Prime and it didn’t get that much attention? The show is hilarious, absolutely hilarious, even as it is nonsensical…and there is plenty of lovely male eye candy on the show; we are now up to Season 3, and a bisexual love interest has been introduced for Daniel Levy’s character and his female ex, Stevie, who runs the motel they are living at. (Stevie is also one of my favorites on the show, and she had the best line thus far–after being told something truly horrible: “Okay then, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to run a warm bath and plug in my hair dryer.” It still makes me laugh.)

And on that note, it’s time to get back to the spice mines.

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Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)

The cold has returned, after an absolutely stunningly beautiful weekend in New Orleans; more’s the pity, really. I sit here within my cold windows, with the gray light of early morning out there, shivering a bit; I probably could put on my fingerless gloves and a skull cap, but instead I simply sit here and shiver and shake.

Work schedule for the week is still messed up, or rather, not the norm; I have to go in early every day which means my evenings are free. Last night, I wrestled with the problem of my Mac having slowed down dramatically since the last iOS upgrade (to Mojave, by the way) but then I downloaded one of those “clean up your Mac” apps, and this morning it seems to be operating at a much better level; faster, at any rate–or at least I am not staring at the spinning wheel of annoyance the way I was when I got home last night–and proceeded to spend the entire evening getting that taken care of until frustration set in and I retired to the living room.

We’re currently binge-watching Schitt’s Creek, which is absolutely hilarious. It’s available on Netflix now; it’s a Eugene Levy creation, starring Mr. Levy and Catherine O’Hara–who makes everything she’s in better. Why she hasn’t won all the Emmys is a mystery to me.

I also signed a contract for the sale of my story “A Whisper from the Graveyard” to an anthology this morning, and emailed the signature page back into them. It’s for a gay male anthology called Pink Triangle Rhapsody, and my story is noir with a twist of the supernatural; or rather, as they say, “pulp”. It was a fun challenge to write, and is perfect for including in my future collection Monsters of New Orleans, which is clearly off to a very good start.

Yay, me!

I also read “The Mysterious Disappearance of the Reluctant Book Fairy” by Elizabeth George, from  Bibliomysteries Volume Two, edited by Otto Penzler:

For an entire generation, the story that follows could not be told. She who affected the vanishing of Langley, Washington’s most famous citizen was still among the living and had the knowledge of what she had done been revealed before this moment, there is little doubt that legions of the broken-hearted, the disenchanted, the disappointed, and the downright enraged would have ended up marching along the quiet street where she lived, bent upon violence. This, of course, would have followed whatever the afore-mentioned legions had done to a disused potting shed in the arboreal confines of Langley Cemetery, where the shape of a body on a moth-eaten blanket and a rotting first edition of an antique novel marked the spot of a deeply mourned departure. But now, at last, everything can be revealed. For all involved have finally passed, and no danger remains to anyone. Langley, Washington, has long since returned to the sleepy albeit lovely little village that has sat above the gleaming waters of Saratoga Passage for more than one hundred years. And what occurred there to its citizenry and to its gentle, well-meaning, but dar too malleable librarian has been consigned to history.

Elizabeth George.

It surprises me that I’ve not read any of Ms. George’s works, and I am not quite sure why that is the actual case. I certainly know of her, I know she is critically acclaimed and has been short-listed for, and won, numerous awards. And yet…Elizabeth George is a big hole in my mystery/crime education which must needs be remedied at some point. But there are so many authors, so many books, so little time; I certainly can relate to that old Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith survives the nuclear holocaust and is delighted by the end of the world because now he has the time, finally, to read everything he wants to. And unlike his character, I don’t need my glasses to actually read, praise Jesus.

The premise of George’s story here is quite charming, if twisted; her main character, Janet Shore, loves to read but has the ability, by chanting and focusing, to actually put herself into books. She soon learns, much to her delight, that she also has the ability to put other people into them as well–she learns she can do this due to an argument over who killed Tom Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird with a stubborn friend whom she sends into the book to witness what actually happens for herself. Soon she is sending other friends into books, but after heartbreak in college she shuts herself off from other people–but finally returns home to her island off the Pacific Coast as librarian only to soon find herself back into the old position of putting people into their books. The story is quite original–at least to me–and I loved how George wove books into her narrative; along with slyly taking potshots at authors and books Janet Shore, with her deep and abiding passion for books, considers to be trash–Twilight, for one, and Fifty Shades for another.

Basically, what George has done with this tale is take the old cliched story of losing one’s self in books quite literally; books were Janet’s salvation as a child, as they were mine…and as I read this story, I wondered if I would take advantage of such a power were I to have it; I don’t think I actually should. But the finish of the tale is also enormously satisfying, and I was quite pleased with it.

And yes, I’ve added George to my “must read” authors list.

And now back to the spice mines.

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