Leather and Lace

Wednesday and pay-the-bills day. Huzzah?

Note to self: at least you can pay the bills without worry. Not everyone can say that, chuckles.

We were in a heat advisory yesterday and I haven’t acclimated to the summer yet. I ran errands after work yesterday, and was exhausted by the time I got home. Paul had worked at home yesterday, so shortly after I got home we started watching television–we started The Ipcress File, which is extremely well done, but Paul wasn’t enjoying it as much as I was, so after three episodes we switched over to First Kill, which isn’t bad but is essentially the same set-up, kind of, as the original storyline of Teen Wolf, only with vampires. There’s a family of vampires and a family of monster-hunters; naturally the hunter daughter and the vampire daughter–both of whom need to get their first kills (hence the title)–are attracted to each other, which sets up an interesting twist on the usual Romeo and Juliet type romantic tragedy. It was entertaining enough to keep watching, even if it is the same essential story as the Scott/Allison romance from the first seasons of Teen Wolf, without the homoeroticism.

I also got my first page pass copy of A Streetcar Named Murder yesterday; I gradually read my way through yesterday to get a sense of the book now and see if it all coalesced; I think it did and it reads very well. I did see a lot of mistakes–missing words, typos, etc.–that are going to need to be corrected, so I will spend some time with it this weekend taking notes of those issues so they can be corrected in the final edition. I am starting to get excited about the book’s pending release (December) rather than terrified; I also have to go blurb-shopping for it, which is my least favorite (well, one of my least favorite) things to do as a writer. I have a pretty healthy list of people to ask, so here’s hoping some of them say yes to me. Fingers crossed, everyone!

I didn’t write or read yesterday when I got home from work–Paul, as I said, was at home and running errands in the late afternoon/early evening heat/humidity had essentially worn me down–and as such, the kitchen is a complete disaster area this morning again. The dishwasher isn’t working again–it is full of water in the bottom, which probably means that a mouse has eaten through the hose one more time–but I honestly don’t mind washing the dishes by hand; I always do anyway before I load them in the dishwasher anyway (that’s another quirk you can blame on my mother), but it’s great to have the dishwasher racks as a place for the dishes to dry so it doesn’t take up my limited counter space (which I have to clean off completely when I get home from the office tonight). I do need to both read and write tonight; I hate this yearly adaptation to the heat. But you do eventually get used to opening the front door and stepping into a sauna, or leaving the office and sitting in my car that has been out in the sun all day and feels like a preheated oven when I get in–the buckle of my seat belt was too hot to touch yesterday so had to use my shirt to grip it. Madness.

I also got some great stuff–yes, more books–in the mail yesterday. I meant to take a picture of them for social media but…no clear space on the counters. Heavy heaving sigh. I also want to make a cucumber salad recipe I saw on the New York Times cooking section; my avocados have ripened and now I have to worry about them turning before I use them. So, when I get home tonight I need to do some laundry, put some dishes away, clear off the counters, make cucumber salad, do some writing and then some reading. Hopefully I’ll have time to get all this done this evening.

And on that hopeful note, I am heading into the spice mines on this “Pay the Bills” Day–and I should probably, you know, pay the bills.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Last Night

I can’t stop thinking about that Chippendales documentary I watched this past weekend.

I felt better yesterday than I have in a long time, even as I was making a list of all the things I need to get done in the meantime. (The list, by the way, is quite extensive.) Paul was working last night and I was tired when I got home. I tried to read for a little while but my mind was too tired to focus, so I put the book aside and watched some history documentary videos on Youtube, which really is quite addicting. (Youtube has become quite fascinating overall to me; and it’s very easy to fall into a video wormhole almost impossible to climb out from…I’m undoubtedly very late to this party, but it’s interesting what you can come across while digging around on there.) I also slept pretty well last night; I feel rested this morning and good, the way I did yesterday morning, and I think a lot of this has to do with being back on schedule; with going into the office Monday thru Wednesday and getting my schedule back in order the way it’s supposed to be. Normality, I suppose, is what it’s called, and getting back into a normal-seeming routine is what truly matters in trying to feel normal again.

My dishwasher was repaired yesterday, so last night I was able to get the most recent stack of dirty dishes cleaned and run through it without incident, which was also quite lovely. (It really takes so very little to make me happy, seriously.)

September is almost finished, as hard as that is to believe. The weather was simply stunningly gorgeous yesterday, too. And we have tickets for the LSU-Auburn game this Saturday! (Way to bury the lede.) It’s a night game, which means we won’t get home until midnight or so from Baton Rouge, but it’s also been two years since we’ve been to a game (the last time was the Florida game in 2019), and I am very excited. LSU isn’t playing great this year, but neither is Auburn (despite their almost-win at Penn State); so fingers crossed the Tigers will get their act together this week and be able to pull off the upset win at home. It’ll also be a beautiful night for a football game. And I can wear my new cap Paul got me for my birthday! Very exciting!

So, things are slowly starting to get back to what passes for normalcy around here, and I am slowly starting to feel like I am getting a handle on everything I should and need to be doing. I spent a very little time yesterday writing the first few paragraphs of “Condos for Sale or Rent”; I had already started the story sometime last year but didn’t like where it was going or what I was doing so I decided to start over, and there I was, writing fiction again. Maybe not anything I should have been working on (naturally) but it felt good to flex those writerly brain muscles again and start writing something again.

I also realized last night (while watching a video about the sad life of Elisabeth of France, sister of Louis XVI) that I’ve felt scattered and disorganized ever since the Great Data Disaster of 2018; which has been three fucking years since my desktop computer went on the fritz and I started having to develop work-arounds, and also right around the same time that our work computers stopped reading flash drives plugged into them, which started the horrible period on which my work was always spread over three different computers and I had to teach myself how to use the Cloud–which wasn’t easy, given the issues I was having with my desktop computer on top of everything else. I did somehow manage to write a couple of books and some short stories during those three years, but I’ve never really felt on top of things since that mess all began. I was actually starting to feel caught up and back on top of things again When The Power Went Out, and so for the last month it was back to flailing and the sad, defeatist attitude that everyone whose always told me I was a loser was correct and I was never going to be able to get everything done that I needed to get done–and that I was barely keeping my head above water this entire time. Being organized is the only way you can ever be truly efficient and highly-functioning, and I’ve not felt organized since December 2018. I am starting to feel better about being organized, and while the process is ongoing, I also feel like I’ve already made some great strides in getting better, holistically, with everything.

Tonight, I am hoping to have the energy to go to the gym for Leg Day (sobs softly to self) as well as stop and make some groceries on the way home–just to pick up a few little things–and then would love to spend some time reading Velvet Was the Night after the shower and so forth. I think Paul still has a grant to work on, so my evening is free; perhaps I can also get some writing done after the gym and shower. We shall see.

At any rate, tis time for me to head into the spice mines. Have a lovely Tuesday, Constant Reader.


And top o’ the morning to you, Constant Reader, on this last day of work before I start my little stay-at-home vacation!

Hurray for Vacation Eve! It sure does seem like I’ve had a lot of time off from the office this month, doesn’t it? Probably because there has been so much of it lately; I don’t think I am working a full week again until after Labor Day–and haven’t the last three weeks, either, including this one–so yeah, that’s actually quite a bit. I really didn’t want to get up this morning, either–yet here I am, swilling coffee and watching it getting light outside and hoping that it’s an easy day to get through.

I got more work done on the revisions; the manuscript is somewhere between thirty and forty percent finished, which isn’t bad. As I was reading it again last night and catching all these horrific little mistakes, again the sympathy for my editor came out again–not to mention embarrassment: you let your editor see a manuscript this fucking sloppy? What the hell is wrong with you? A very good question, indeed.

Yesterday I signed, and got the electronic counter signature on, a contract for a new book which could be the first in a new series. This is both exciting and daunting; it’s going to be something utterly and completely different from anything I’ve ever done before–and Constant Reader knows how much I enjoy a challenge–and of course, after I got bleary-eyed from corrections last night my mind started wandering all over the place with potential ideas for the book and for future ones in the series. I also started fleshing out the supporting cast for the series, and had some (what I think) really good ideas. It was actually a lot of fun–part of the reason I write in the first place is because I enjoy it so much; at least the exercise of my creativity, at any rate–and whether any or all of those ideas and thoughts will make it to the final product certainly remains to be seen, it was a lot of fun sitting in my easy chair and writing them all done and letting my mind wander freely. This is pretty exciting, all in all, and as I said, a bit of a departure for me writing-wise. The manuscript is due on January 15th of next year, which means I am having to adjust my writing schedule (sorry, folks, Scotty will be pushed back to the first quarter of next year) but again, it’s not that terribly big of a deal to do so in the first place…and while I am still saving September for Chlorine, I am going to start the work on this new one–background and so forth–while doing so. Wednesday I am going scouting for locations; that will also be incredibly fun, methinks–and I am also going to have to try to remember what things were like here in the past (not too much, of course, but somewhat), which will also dovetail a bit with “Never Kiss a Stranger” as well.

I guess all the New Orleans/Louisiana history I’ve been reading will come in handy a bit, won’t it?

We had a particularly intense thunderstorm–or string of them–last night beginning around six pm; it was nice, as always, to listen to the thunder and the continuous downpour while snuggled into my easy chair under a blanket with a purring kitty sleeping in my lap as I made notes in my journal. I was tired by the time I got home last night–I really need to make a to-do list and focus on things–and so I wasn’t really in the mood to do a whole lot of editing or anything else (hence why I am not as far along with the manuscript as I would have hoped to be by today); I did some laundry and discovered the my leaking dishwasher–well, the leak from the dishwasher–might not actually have a whole lot to do with the dishwasher and everything to do with my garbage disposal, which hasn’t been working lately. I was doing the dishes last night, not using the dishwasher, but water was pooling up on the floor in front of the dishwasher. I know they are connected somehow–sometimes when the dishwasher runs, soapy water will come up into that sink–but that could solve the mystery; there’s probably nothing more than a pipe that needs to either be tightened in some way or replaced. I suspect, however, that this will involve a process of moving the dishwasher out and getting back into there and–ugh, just the thought of having to deal with any of this is making me tired already.

It is always something, isn’t it? But it’s okay. I am kind of looking forward to doing a deep clean of every room in the downstairs while I am on vacation; perhaps one room per day, or something, I don’t know–but I definitely want to get a lot of this stuff all taken care of while I am home all those days. I am also very well aware of my own tendency to procrastinate AND be lazy–oh, I can skip doing anything today because I have five more days off–but the plan, for right now at any rate, is to get as much done this week so that I can take three days off this weekend (Saturday thru Monday) to read and do as little as possible and just relax and get all rested up so I can really do a deep dive into the first draft of Chlorine next month.

One can hope, at any rate. And now to get ready for an exciting day at the office. Happy Tuesday, everyone!