Battle of the Dragons

Friday. I am taking a personal day today so I can try to get caught up on some things that slid while I was gone and haven’t had the chance to do anything about. I have to head out to Metairie to pick up my new glasses, have another errand to run out there, and also have a prescription to pick up at some point. I also have to make groceries and go to Costco sometime soon; maybe today, maybe not. We’re supposed to get a lot of rain this weekend–it’s summer in New Orleans: hot, humid, chance of rain–and am thus hoping that I’ll be able to not only get a lot done but be able to read cozily under a blanket while listening to the rain in the background. I slept very well last night, and am just going to do some mild stuff around here before it’s time to go run the errands and get back home to firmly set nose to grindstone. I feel very well rested this morning, despite getting up before eight (I actually woke up at five, but was easily persuaded into going back to sleep for a few more hours), and am looking forward to a restful if productive weekend.

I was a little surprised to see that the last two episodes of Stranger Things are much longer than the previous ones; the series/season finale is two and a half hours long. So we watched the one and a half hour second-to-last episode before switching over to this week’s Loot. I guess we’ll finish watching Stranger Things tonight, but it was disappointing; I thought for sure we’d be able to finish it last night. Why do the last two episodes total four hours of viewing? It doesn’t make much sense to me, and again, I was rather disappointed, primarily because I am really enjoying this season and am looking forward to finishing the series. On the other hand, watching the series finale will take up all of our television time this evening, so we won’t have to make a decision about what else to watch tonight at any rate. Conundrums a’plenty here, aren’t there?

I also want to finish Rob Osler’s book Devil’s Chew Toy, which is charming but I’ve been too drained to look at this week. I’m not sure what I am going to read next–I have so many options, all of them good–and of course today I have to polish a short story since the anthology closes for submissions at midnight. I’d like to get the copy edits for the Bouchercon anthology out of the way once and for all–a goal for the weekend–and I am thinking perhaps for my next read I might read something horror rather than mystery; I can’t really decide and as usual, will actually go ahead and decide once I’ve finished the current read and see what appeals to me. I have such a plethora of riches here in the massive TBR stacks and piles it’s not even funny. (I am also resisting the urge to buy more books, doing which would not be a good thing. A lot of really good books are dropping right now, but I have to be strong and hold firm.) I think when I get home from my errands today I may just curl up in my easy chair and finish the book. I don’t want to give the impression I am not enjoying it; my brain is often fried after I get off work and do some writing and/or editing once I get home and all I am good for is watching something mindless, like Real Housewives’ Ultimate Girls’ Trip, which has been highly entertaining so far, until Paul gets home.

I also need to pick out a Tennessee Williams quote for the opening of Mississippi River Mischief.

I’m not very exciting or interesting this morning, am I? Sorry about that, I think my brain didn’t reset over night or something; it feels rather intellectually burnt out, if that makes any sense. It’s okay, most of anything that I’ll be doing today doesn’t really require my creative brain but rather the editorial side, yet it would be nice to get some new writing done–on the other hand, I am going to be out running around in the heat today, which is going to be tiring and exhausting and probably by the time I get home from it all, I’m just going to want to collapse into my chair and read, which is also fine. A very important rule for being a writer is to also be a voracious reader, and I’ve not exactly been voracious in a while. I didn’t read hardly at all, for example, at Sleuthfest–but on the other hand I was also doing a lot there and not sleeping well. (I also didn’t write much while I was there; I did get some writing done in the mornings but it literally wasn’t a good writing weekend for me, either.)

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Another cup of coffee, another load of laundry, and some cleaning are in order for the next hour or so. Have a lovely Friday, Constant Reader!

Rock a Little

Well, here we are on Saturday after a rage-infested Friday during which my anger burned with the white hot heat of a dozen burning suns. I somehow managed to get things done–the world keeps turning, no matter how shitty whatever is going on that day might be–and yet succumbed to the need to rage-tweet and retweet; Twitter is such a horrible place and it just feeds on itself.

The other day I was talking about #shedeservedit and why I wasn’t entirely comfortable promoting the book–but the abomination of the ‘supreme court’ and its rulings of this past week have completely changed my position about that entirely. I am very glad that I wrote that book, because part of its story also addresses the need for legal abortion. YES I AM PRO-CHOICE AND I ALWAYS HAVE BEEN, even when I was a child. I remember when the Roe decision originally came down; I was twelve years old, and everyone was talking about it. My sister wrote an anti-abortion piece for our high school newspaper, so I knew where she came down on the issue; my parents never really talked about it but I felt pretty safe in assuming, based on their upbringing and their faith, where they came down on the issue. It seemed kind of wrong to me, but the more I read about it and the more I understood the position of those who argued in favor of it, the more I came around to the pro-choice side. No one should have to carry a child to term against their will, period. I don’t know why that is so difficult for so many men to understand or grasp; if men could get pregnant Planned Parenthood would have drive-thru service. And the right to privacy these judicial activists just struck down? The ripples of government intervention into personal life choices that are none of the government’s or anybody else’s decisions is the epitome of government intervention and overreach that conservatives are always screaming about. The abominable sexual predator Clarence Thomas* even specifically named other decisions regarding privacy and government overreach he felt were ‘wrongly decided.’ Hey, if I was married to one of the biggest traitors in American history this side of Benedict Arnold I’d probably have all the seats and keep my mouth shut, but you do you, predator.

Sigh. I’ll probably never stop being angry about this.

I did manage to get some things done yesterday. I did my day job duties. I also took a short break to go wash and vacuum out my car (I finally found a do-it-yourself car wash that is easy to get to); I also got my brake tag renewed, which was marvelous. (It expired during the shutdown of 2020, and there were no places open to have it done. Naturally, I forgot all about it until a conversation at the office the other day.) I don’t have to worry about that again until 2024. I also picked up the mail and came back home to do more work. After my work duties were finished, I made three binders for working projects–yes, this is something that I do. I print out every draft, three hole punch it, and put into a three-ring binder used specifically for that purpose. I had recently emptied out the binder for A Streetcar Named Murder, and so I am reusing that one of Mississippi River Mischief. I also made a new one for Chlorine, one for “Never Kiss a Stranger ” (and the other novellas), and one for another project I am slowly but surely working on for some reason that doesn’t really make sense to me; someone has shown an interest in it and so I am writing it when I can’t make any progress on what I am currently focused on working on. Today I have an eye appointment in Metairie at noon; I’m debating as to whether to donate books to the library today to get the boxes out of the living room before heading out there. I am probably going to treat myself to Atomic Burger on the way home–I was thinking Sonic, but I’ve not had Atomic Burger since pre-pandemic times so that sounds like more of a treat for me than going to Sonic. (it’s also been a hot minute since I’ve had Five Guys…)

We watched this week’s episode of The Boys last night (thoroughly enjoyed the season finale of Obi-wan Kenobi the night before) before catching another episode of Loot (seriously, Maya Rudolph is killing it on this show; one of the best female comedy performances since Veep–she and Jean Smart will be definitely fighting it out for the Emmy this year, and the entire cast is actually quite good. Very sharp comedic writing, as well, and then once we were caught with that we moved on to First Kill, which we are still enjoying, weird as it is. I also want to spend some time today with The Savage Kind by John Copenhaver–it’s quite wonderful–before I head out to the burbs. (I also laundered the bed linens and got caught up on the dishes as well.) I do want to finish reading it this weekend, so I can find out where it’s going and enjoy every page as well as to move on to my next read before Pride Month runs out. I have all these marvelous books just collecting dust here in the Lost Apartment, and just begging to be read.

On that note, I am going to make myself another cup of coffee and head over to the easy chair with my book before I have to start getting ready to head out to the eye appointment. Have a great Saturday, and remember–channel your rage into action. To quote Game of Thrones, “there is no justice in this world unless we make it.” I intend to spend the rest of my life, as I have spent so much of it already, fighting for justice. I’d kind of hoped that I wouldn’t have to anymore, but letting your guard down just gives the Fascists an opportunity to regroup.

“Henceforth I shall only refer to him in this manner, just as Kavanaugh will always be “the rapist Brett Kavanaugh.”

After the Glitter Fades

Well, I never thought I’d make it here in Hollywood…

That’s the opening line of today’s title, lifted from Stevie Nicks’ classic song from her debut solo album, Bella Donna, which is from beginning to end one of my favorite albums (and one I need to listen to more). But it’s an unusual work-at-home Friday for one Gregalicious, and I have data to enter as well as other things to do for the day job while I am here at home today–and I am going to take a break later on to get my brake tag, wash the car, and pick up the mail–all of which will be super fun in the heat advisory. Woo-hoo!

It is amazing what a difference not getting up to an alarm at six makes. I woke up at six on my own, and went back to sleep for about another hour and I feel absolutely marvelous and rested this morning, which is a good thing. I have a lot to do today–data entry, some errands (odious ones, at that)–but I feel like if I can stay focused, I have the energy to get through the day preparatory for going into the weekend relaxed. I do have an eye appointment in Metairie tomorrow (sigh), but I think I may treat myself to an Atomic Burger or something since I have to go out there. Paul will be gone–he has his trainer in the late morning and then either rides the bike at the gym for the rest of the day, or goes to the office (he’s working on yet another grant)–so I hope to get home from that appointment and do some more writing. I’ve been working on this draft I’d hoped to have finished by the end of the month (ha ha ha, I am 750 words into Chapter Two), but a good push over the weekend should have it in good shape by Monday–or so I hope at any rate.

I also sent out early, unfinished copies of A Streetcar Named Murder to some author friends who all graciously agreed to read it for potential cover blurbs; this is a weird part of this business that I am not entirely certain I completely am comfortable with–never have been, and generally I just skip this part and just reuse the ones I asked for and have gotten over the past twenty years, but since this is something entirely new for me I thought it was probably better to start from scratch. Which, of course, is nerve-wracking; it’s always nerve-wracking to have something you’ve written in the hands of people you deeply admire and respect. Fingers crossed.

We watched some more of First Kill on Netflix, which is an interesting take on the original romance story on Teen Wolf, only the couple are lesbian teenagers, and instead of a werewolf, the “monster” half is a vampire. It’s clever and interesting and has really funny moments; it’s also some interesting world-building as it seems to be creating its own supernatural mythology–also interesting. We then watched two episodes of Maya Rudolph’s new show on Apple, Loot, which is really funny; Rudolph and the rest of the cast are great and the writing is as well. Highly recommended; more to come as we watch more of each show.

I also hope to finish reading The Savage Kind this weekend–I just keep falling further and further behind on my reading, but coming home after work in the heat, and running errands in it after a long day at the office, has had me brain-dead when I get home and I just can’t focus on reading anything. I hate that, and I kind of blame the pandemic for the shortening of my attention span and how much easier I lose focus than I used to back in the day.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. The kitchen is a disaster area that needs cleaning before I start doing my data entry and get going on my work day, and none of this stuff is going to do itself, so it’s on me as always. Heavy heaving sigh. But happy Friday, everyone!