Electricity

Good morning, Tuesday, how it’s going with you, Constant Reader, on this lovely early May morning?

I sent out another story yesterday–why, yes, I am on a roll, kind of, thank you for asking. I could also easily go 0 for 4, which is certainly more likely than 4 for 4 (I know, I know, self-deprecation there, and yes, it’s a very hard habit to break but I am working on it).

Last night I managed to work througb some of my my computer frustrations. Apparently, at some point in the last few months or so, there was yet another Mohave update–I remember when it happened, and I didn’t install it, it somehow just happened–that rendered my flash drive unreadable or unworkable with Mac computers. Fortunately I have that shitty little PC laptop, which can still read it. So I then had to download a Cloud for PC app, which needed a Windows update to work, and–long story short, I found a backup to the flash drive from November backed up in the Cloud, and I honestly don’t think I worked on anything on the flash drive that wasn’t backed up to the Cloud already, so it was simply a matter of moving the working files from the back-up folder in the Cloud to the active area. An enormous pain in the ass, but there you have it–and I now have the files I need accessible. At some point I’ll be able to get that PC Cloud app working and save yet another back-up, but until then I am able to work with what I have, thank you.

Today is another early morning for me, but truth to be told, I’m pretty much starting to adapt to these mornings and they aren’t nearly as painful as they used to be. I’m actually getting rather used to this sort of 9 to 5 thing, which I never expected to ever happen in a million years. Last night I was home shortly after five, and had some time thus to work on these computer issues. And since it was May 4th, and Rise of Skywalker was newly available to stream last night on Disney, I decided to watch it again–more critically this time than when I saw it in the theater, and yeah. I enjoyed it on the big screen—I always enjoy Star Wars on the big screen, as a general rule, but when I was rewatching it, it seemed disjointed, poorly written and planned, and kind of all over the place. So, all those people who were so critical of it? Yeah, they were probably right, but this sequel trilogy didn’t “ruin my childhood” or anything; it was just disappointing on a rewatch. I’ll probably have some more thoughts about the whole thing later.

I also finished reading Scott Heim’s Mysterious Skin last night, and it really is quite a wonderful book. Reading it as a crime novel was an interesting take, and I think I can quite solidly back up my theory that it is, in fact, while a very literary book to be sure, a crime novel. It certainly is structured and written kind of like one, and the mood and tone of the book is very dreamlike yet terrifying, like Megan Abbott’s The End of Everything, which I think is a good companion book for Mysterious Skin. There will, of course, be a blog entry devoted to the book; I’m still gathering my thoughts about it and trying to order them in some way. Afterwards, I tried to find my copy of We Disappear, but couldn’t put my hands on it–even though I am absolutely positive I located it the moment I started rereading Mysterious Skin…it’ll turn up, I’m sure.

I also started rereading Mary Stewart’s Thunder on the Right, which has some rather razor-sharp wit going on in the very beginning, which immediately (to me) added to its charm, and drew me in already. I also remember Thunder on the Right as being a “lesser” Stewart novel–kind of like The Moon-spinners and This Rough Magic, both of which I loved on the reread.

Tonight we’ll probably go back to watching Defending Jacob; I was already watching Skywalker when Paul got home, and he just fell asleep while watching that–he also pointed out that he doesn’t remember watching it in the theater at all; which is really not a sign of a movie that resonated with the viewers, really–so tonight it’ll be back to Defending Jacob. Apple is really putting a lot of cash into their streaming service, a and there are certainly a lot of impressive names being put to work on their shows, so who knows? I also need to sign into my CBS app so we can start watching their All Access Star Trek shows, as well as the reboot of The Twilight Zone from Jordan Peele.

There’s really so much good stuff to watch–and that’s only the stuff I know about. We’ve stumbled onto so many good shows over the years that we’d not heard about, and of course, season 3 of Killing Eve is also up now.

And on that note, tis time to get ready for the spice mines. Have a most lovely Tuesday, Constant Reader, and I’ll talk to you later.

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O Come All Ye Faithful

Thursday and the hard part of the week is already over; the one where I work thirty-one hours in three days at the office. This is the part of the week where I work nine hours in two days, easing into the weekend, as it were. We have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday evening, but other than that and some errands, I intend to spend my weekend primarily working and editing and inputting the hard copy edits I’ve done on my short stories this week.

That’s the plan, at any rate.

But I slept really well again last night–two glorious nights in a row–and I feel incredibly well rested today. Does that bode well for writing this morning before work, and this evening after? Here’s hoping. I’m still trying to adapt and adjust to my new work schedule, and I feel like I am settling into it at long last, which is lovely. It gets harder to adapt to changes, I find, the older I get.

I still feel completely disconnected in some ways from the creativity surge I was feeling before the loss of the jump drive and the frying of the back-up hard drive; like the momentum wave I was riding has somehow now passed me by and I am dog-paddling like crazy in water that’s over my head. (To be fair, I often feel this way, particularly when the work isn’t going so well.) But I am absolutely delighted to discover that the stories I was re-editing and revising for the collection are now in pretty good shape, and now I can even get started (maybe) on tentatively pulling together the second one. I also kind of have lost momentum on my New Orleans research as well as my essay collection; partly because that was some of the work I lost. I did reconstruct some of it this past weekend–table of contents, etc., as well as some other things; writing things up in my journals–something I returned to doing this year–really helped lessen the impact of the Great Data Disaster of 2018. Hurray!

And with the end of the year approaching, I am wondering now what new goals I should set for 2019. Obviously, some of the ones I set for 2018 didn’t happen, but that’s okay; I don’t look as not achieving a goal as a failure. I do think one of the things I am really going to try for in 2019 is getting published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. It’s been on my bucket list forever, and so I am going to really give it a try. I think my story “One Night at Brandy’s Lounge”–unfinished–might be the one to do the trick.

All right, it’s time to get back to the spice mines. The spice must flow.

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Carol of the Bells

Ah, Monday.

It was a long Monday; I work long days on Mondays and Tuesdays and half-days on Thursdays and Fridays now. This is my second week of working this schedule and I am beginning to somewhat adjust to it. Last night I watched Ready Player One and didn’t care much for it, to be honest–and I really wanted to like it. An appealing young cast, an adventure, and lots of 80’s references? Sign me the fuck up.

But it’s not a good sign when halfway through the movie you put it on pause, go make dinner, eat it, and clean up after it before walking back into the living room, only to look at the television and remember you were watching a movie.

And here it is Tuesday morning already and I failed in my write a blog entry every day for the first time ever this year when I wasn’t  out of town. Mondays are long days, yo, and I was tired when I got home last night. Tuesday is also a long day….so we’ll see how this goes.

I spent most of the weekend rebuilding my back-up hard drive and new flash drive; rescuing electronic files and deleting all the duplicates…of which there were many. It was incredibly tedious; I also worked on reorganizing my Cloud drive so it works more efficiently (there’s still more work to be done there, have no fear) and hoped that doing all this relatively tedious, mindless work would help reboot my brain and creativity, which it sort of did. I started editing the hard copy of a short story last night, and it was one of those things where I thought how many edits did I do on this story already? But that’s the great thing about distance; you see things more clearly than you do when you’re in the heat of the moment of writing the story.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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Rock with You

Well, I tried plugging in the old back-up hard drive to Paul’s computer with the old iOS on it, but no, the latest system upgrade made that back-up hard drive unreadable by any Mac, the fuckers. The good news is I discovered that I backed up the back up hard drive in August, so there’s a fairly recent version. Sure, I lost some stuff, but I think I printed out almost everything so I at least have a hard copy to reconstruct the file from, and yes, I now understand that back-ups absolutely positively must be done every week. I also realize that rather than using Mac compatible products I have to only use Mac products, as they always survive iOS upgrades–my secondary one was a Mac product, and it works just fine. So, part of my time over the weekend is going to be spent reorganizing computer files, backing things up, and so on and so forth. Annoying, yes, but at the same time a kind of relatively mindless task that, while fatiguing on some levels, will also free up my mind to be creative, so there is that.

Heavy heaving sigh.

So, do I bother taking it to the Apple Store to recover the data (or try), or do I just re-initialize it, wiping it completely and start using it again (as the back-up back-up?

I guess I could call the Apple Store and talk to someone.

Heavy heaving sigh.

The good thing, I keep telling myself, is that I had backed up most of what was current, or at least currently being worked on, on the Cloud so I could access it on the iPad whilst in Kentucky; pretty much anything and everything else I’ve written since the last time everything was backed up primarily came out of my  handwritten journals and had simply been typed into electronic files, and yes, I know, but I also printed them all out. So I can recreate the files, if necessary. But the bad thing is I don’t really know what precisely is gone. But I think the malaise of the last summer that lasted through the fall was a blessing, because it means not a lot of work was lost.

It’s truly frightening to contemplate how fragile the data that is my work is in actuality.

That’s probably why I tend to pretend that it isn’t, fingers in my ears and singing la la la la la I can’t hear you.

Sigh.

So this weekend–or part of it anyway–will be spent trying to figure out what material was lost and needs to be replaced (thank God for “search this Mac” function), but that’s something I can do while I am cleaning. I only work a half-day today, so I am going to try to get all the cleaning out of the way today so I can focus on writing and editing this weekend. I really really need to get the final read of Royal Street Reveillon out of the way; hopefully I can get some chapters of Bury Me in Satin done, and I also want to read some of the new short stories for the collection one last time to make sure they’re okay. (I am a little concerned/worried about “Don’t Look Down.”)

And now, ’tis off to the spice mines with me.

Happy Friday!

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