All Down the Line

I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I didn’t sleep as deeply or restfully last night as I have been, but it was still a good night’s sleep–at least, one that wasn’t riddled with insomnia, so I’ll take it and be grateful. I mean, I don’t feel fatigued or anything. I’m still fighting this cold I caught in New York (the COVID tests have been consistently negative since my return, but I haven’t taken one this morning yet, either) which is miserable, and means I’ll probably continue masking at work. They lifted the masking requirement yesterday, which was kind of a surprise, but…making those kinds of decisions is way above my pay grade. I don’t know why people were so hateful and nasty about the masks, but I know I’ve kind of enjoyed not getting sick (other than COVID) over the last three years–which is why I hate this cold even more than I ordinarily would because I haven’t had one in three years.

Sigh.

I made more than quota yesterday, which was also nice–the deadline looms, which makes every word more important–and I hope to do so again tonight. I also managed to get some dishes done last night, some cleaning up around the kitchen, and even made dinner, which I rarely do on weeknights (mainly because Paul gets home so late, but yesterday was his work-at-home day, so he was here and it wasn’t an issue). I need to do some more dishes tonight and more clean-up/organizing around the kitchen. I have to do that signing event for two hours at ALA on Saturday at the Convention Center (which I keep forgetting about, like I keep forgetting about my doctor’s appointment tomorrow, which isn’t good or smart), so getting ahead of the game is better for me and I should take advantage of the writing being easy and write as much as I can when its flowing, right?

We also started watching Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime last night. I like John Kasinski, but have never been much of a fan of Tom Clancy’s. I did read The Hunt for Red October when it was the “it” book of the year, but didn’t much care for it and never went back to Clancy afterwards. It’s just not my thing. I preferred Alistair MacLean, to be honest–no one really talks about him anymore, but I read a lot of his canon; I think if there’s any one book he might be known for it’s either The Guns of Navarone or Where Eagles Dare. My personal favorite was the one whose name I cannot recall right now, but it was about a lifeboat full of people escaping Singapore in December 1941; their ship is torpedoed and sinks, and they are trying to make it to Australia. South by Java Head! I also enjoyed Circus and Bear Island. I’ve been meaning to revisit MacLean again now that I’m an older and more sophisticated (!) reader, just as I’ve been meaning to revisit Robert Ludlum (the actual Ludlum) in the last few years. I’ve also been meaning to revisit Helen MacInnes–her The Salzburg Connection is one of my favorite espionage thrillers (you can never go wrong with Nazis as your villains, seriously). I’ve also wanted to reread Ian Fleming for the first time since I was a teenager as well; I think I would appreciate the books more than I did then. Anyway, we weren’t terribly engrossed by Jack Ryan and I don’t think we’ll be continuing with it.

This morning’s COVID test is negative, as I had suspected and hoped, so I know this is just a cold. Is it annoying that I still have it? You bet your ass it is. I can’t believe I used to get colds and think nothing of it and just went about my day and business like it was nothing. Clearly, I am out of practice with being ill. I don’t think it’s just me, either; I finished off my DayQuil yesterday so it was on my list on the way home from work and they didn’t have much in stock–either DayQuil or NyQuil, and none of the extra strength kind I always use. Supply chain issues? One thing I’ve really been noticing over the last year or so is how empty the shelves in the grocery stores are, and things that I used to pick up regularly without concern sometimes aren’t there. I don’t know if this is a New Orleans issue–it really became noticeable after Hurricane Ida, and the stores here never have seemed to bounce back from having to toss all that food back then–or if it’s across the board, but it’s strange and one of those things that makes you wonder about how serious the decline of the American democracy actually must be. (It also goes to show how spoiled we are–do other countries even have supermarkets? They didn’t in the village in Italy we vacationed in all those years ago–and I never saw one in either Florence or Venice, but wasn’t looking either. Or is even thinking that part of American exceptionalism? It’s hard to know anymore.)

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely Tuesday, Constant Reader!

I Guess I’ll Always Love You

Sunday, Sunday.

Yesterday morning my all-in-one printer/scanner/copier bit the dust. It was fine, really; it was cheap and a stopgap when my last nice one died; and it was hard to find the ink for it. So, I went to Office Depot before starting my errands and bought a new one–fancier, to be sure–and it took me a while to get it set up and functioning properly–and then I had issues with my computer for a bit; which was particularly annoying because I was also working on my book–and Microsoft Word kept crashing; at one point my computer restarted all on its own because the crash was so bad. But it eventually worked itself out somehow, and I was able to get the work done that I needed to get done. Tomorrow will be trickier; I have one chapter to revise and another one to write from scratch and then edit/revise…and I think there’s going to have to be at least one more chapter after that as well. I should still be able to get it turned in on time, but it’s going to be a slog and a lot of work.

I also got a contract for a story for an anthology–the Anne Rice tribute thing, and my story is called “The Rosary of Broken Promises,” which was actually a better title for the story I was actually originally using it for, to be honest; but I think I came up with a good replacement title for the story I stole the title from, which is now called “When Wrens Make Prey”–which is part of the Shakespearean quote that includes the title Alistair MacLean made famous, Where Eagles Dare (it’s from Richard III, by the way, he typed pedantically, and no, I can’t quote Shakespeare from memory; I even had to look this up to see where I got it from just now). I also spent some time moving files around from the cloud to my back-up hard drive, so I have back-ups–it’s astounding how many duplicate files there are when I look for a file. I was looking for another file yesterday, my figure skating noir story, and it wasn’t on the back-up anywhere. (It is now, in case you were wondering.) I may have a home for that story, which was started a long time ago, and I also know what it wrong with it–and maybe, just maybe, how to fix it.

We’ve started watching Archive 81, which is really creepy, well done, and interesting. I’m not really sure where the story is going–we’re only three episodes in–but so far it’s really not looking all that great for our hero. Our hero is hired to go live on a creepy estate and restore video recordings that have been damaged in a fire, which he is an expert at doing, and as he watches the videos after he repairs them–they follow a young documentarian who moved into an apartment building with the idea of making an oral history film of the building; but the truth is, she is looking for the mother who abandoned her as a child and whose last known residence was this building–from where she disappeared entirely. It’s a terrific premise, and the way it is filmed is quite excellent; very high production values, and the mystery is also somehow tied to the main character’s father in some way; the missing woman who made the tapes was also a patient of his father.

I did manage to get a lot done yesterday, but today’s work is going to be ever so much harder than yesterday’s, frankly. I have one more chapter to revise, and as I mentioned before, I have to write at least two new ones to end the book before turning it in. I don’t know that I’ll be able to get both written today; I have some other chores and tasks to do today and tomorrow as well, and at some point I need to run to the grocery store. Heavy heaving sigh. It never ends around here, does it? But there’s nothing to do but buckle down and get to it, I suppose. It’s certainly not going to do itself–the bastards never do it themselves–and realistically, I do think I can get it all done over the course of the next few days. I slept deeply and well again last night–the bed was so warm and cozy and comfortable this morning that I didn’t want to get out from under the blankets. (Plus, I knew I had a lot to get done today on my plate, and therefore…yeah, didn’t really want to get up and start working.) But now I am up and swilling coffee, and I actually feel awake and energetic, so hopefully as long as I don’t lose any steam along the way I should be able to dive into everything and get some stuff done.

And on that note, tis time to head into the spice mines for the day. Have a lovely Sunday wherever you are, Constant Reader, and I hope you aren’t too cold or too buried in snow to enjoy your day. Talk to you tomorrow!