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28 June 2016 @ 01:21 pm
The weekend was kind of a loss. Janna finally finished her book and I spent all of friday, from when I woke up to 9pm with a break for dinner, editing it. It's a novella and the first time she's written something of that size and it got out of her hands a few times and tenses were all over the place. But it's done! And now that it's back from the professional editor, it should be available soon.

Janna also was coming down with a pretty severe sore throat with accompanying ear infection. Because of that, we really didn't get up to nearly as much as we would have liked.

My game for the weekend was cancelled and I gather they're having a session on Sunday, the 3rd when I'll be in western Mass. Really not thrilled about either thing. I think I'm going to run something on my own, but I'm caught between ideas. Call of Cthulhu is something I can run in my sleep and it's in a lot of demand, but I'm really intrigued by 13th Age, particularly the (unreleased) Glorantha setting. I think 13th might be my nibanna between squishy systems like Fate and more crunchy stuff like Runequest.
07 February 2016 @ 01:04 pm

Yesterday was less than optimal. I woke up and thought to myself, geez, it seems awful cool. I looked at the time because it was pretty early and sometimes I wake up on weekends before the thermostat is set to goose the heat from the night setting. Nope, that's not it. So I look and it is 56' in the house and the battery light is flashing on the thermostat.

So I grumble and turn on the coffee and feed the cats so they don't consume me whole, and then get batteries out of the charger and pull the thermostat off the wall, put it the batteries, and put it back up. We keep a pot of water on the stove to keep some moisture in the house, so I click that on, and go sit on the couch with my ipad. A few minutes later, the coffee beeps and I get up and the flame on the stove is down to nothing. I realize I also haven't heard the heat go on and confirm this.

I turn the burner on the stove off and relight it. It flames into full strength and then quickly dies down to nothing. And then I realize, our gas meter is frozen and we have no heat, no stove, and no hot water. And this sucks. We call it in to the gas company and they assure us someone will come and fix it and Janna drags up a couple of space heaters we originally bought 20 or so years ago when the heat pump in our condo died back in Maryland. Thankfully, they actually still work and it starts to get slightly warmer.

Of course, we have a cathedral ceiling so it doesn't get really warm, but we do manage to get the temperature up into the 60s. And we sit down and wait. And wait. And wait. It's almost three o'clock before the van from National Grid arrives. We hold our breath until he agrees that it's the gas meter and he sets about fixing it. And we finally get our hot "morning" shower around 4 in the afternoon, just in time to start dinner.

15 September 2015 @ 09:47 am
This morning Nora had one of her very few moments where she talks about what happens at school. Seriously, prying information out of her is like pulling teeth. We send her with a little thing of raisins and goldfish crackers and she explained that she had been sharing her snack with another girl and that she wasn't supposed to.

We said, no, it's not good to share snacks because you don't know what people are or aren't allergic too.

She then explains.

Her friend doesn't get sent to school with a snack. If the kids don't have a snack, then there are pretzels the teacher gives out. But her friend really doesn't like pretzels and won't eat them, so if she doesn't share, then her friend doesn't get a snack.

OK, Nora, I'm a little proud that you got in trouble now.

I just can't imagine how these kids, they're only five years old, feel when the teacher drags out the Pretzels of Poverty. We're one of the very lucky ones in the tiny slice where "parents" and "not living in poverty" circles intersect on Cape's sad ven diagram.

The rest of the people who actually have to work here? The Cape these rich second home owners see might as well be a cruise ship's private island.
27 August 2015 @ 02:58 pm
So today is Nora's last day in her preschool. She "officially" graduated in spring and this is technically the summer program, which she insists on calling it, and a little more on the daycare and fun side. But it's her last day. I've really become attached to dropping her off and picking her up as they work perfectly, including the route, with my work and gives us some time alone. The school also does something wonderfully helpful and the little white board gives you talking points for the way home, which is very useful in coaxing information out of someone who's relatively shy. She starts kindergarten next week, but the bus comes after I leave for work and drops her off before, so I'll be pretty much completely removed from it.

Tonight there's a story and ice cream time for the new kindergarteners, which is also a chance for them (and us) to meet the teacher and do one last visit to the school. So two hours after the end of preschool, she'll be in her new school meeting her teacher and the other staff people.

And if that's not enough to finish out a long day,  after the storytime, we'll be heading out to western Mass. We figure she'll sleep on the trip and we can spend the entire day doing fun things for her and then drive home after dinner when she'll also sleep. We hope. This has been postponed for the last few weekends since her birthday for various weather and commitment reasons. It's a last minute thing for all of us and should be a complete surprise for her.

In other news, our new ceiling fan has arrived. We got a rather expensive model that uses about half the usual power and comes with a remote, so we can actually reverse it for the winter. We also invested in a new set of Corelle dishes for everyday use, rather than the mishmash we had. (These included the remnants of the set I remember my mother throwing at my drunk father just before the divorce. Oh the loving family memories.) We have everything ready to go on our roof and new skylight as well.

I'm making some mild progress on my next book. I don't know where this one went off the rails, but it has been a bear to get done. I've done two major rewrites, one of which i totally reversed. I figure I need three more chapters and then start the editing process. The good news on that front is that seven months after release, my book is still on the top 100 best sellers in lesbian romance, which is just whacky.
21 April 2015 @ 02:02 pm
This turned out to be such a wonderful weekend. Nora is outgrowing her toddler bed. Ok, she's not really quite outgrowing it. It would probably last another year, but she feels like she wants a bigger bed. She also wanted an "up high" bed and Ikea has some great models--sort of a bunk bed without a lowerbunk. That frees up space  for storage or playing or whatever which in our teeny house is a plus.

We drove out separately, they were in the Kia and I took the Fit alone with the car seat removed and set up for cargo. Nora was fantastic at the store. Yes, it was a friday, so it wasn't crazy, but she did so well. She's still a four year old so it wasn't purely smooth, but given the stimuli and two tired mommies, it went so well.

We also got a bed for ourselves because a bit ago our Malm collapsed with some kind of defect. This one has storage, which will be nice.

Saturday I got Nora out of the house so Janna would have time to put together her bed in peace. We went to the farm and looked at the critters then took a rather long way to the pet shop and picked up some glofish (genetically modified zebrafish) and some oto cats better known as algae eaters. We are down to one of the "shellie" cichlids so I have a little 5 gallon tank where she or he is going to "retire" and we're remaking the 30 gallon into a planted community tank. The glofish will go with the cichlid and the otos can start cleaning the big tank which has way too much algae.

We just had a great time and thankfully, this seems to have reset Nora's "I don't like fish" phase. She's got a long list of dislikes which include cows, pandas, elephants, and more than occasionally me.

It was just the most amazing weekend. SO much fun. And then it all went to hell. I don't know what happened, whether it was exhaustion or food poisoning or what, but I woke up Sunday morning and immediately threw up and spent the next six hours either being ill or sleeping in misery. It started to wear off by afternoon and by the evening I could have a turkey sandwhich, but ouch ouch.

Monday was Patriot's day which is a Massachusetts holiday and I had it off. We took it easy. Janna was tired from building the Ikea stuff and tending to me collapsed on the couch. I made a nice roast chicken dinner and we pretty much stayed close to home otherwise.

Still, despite the weird sick thing, it was a pretty nice weekend. Probably going to be having a lot of long weekends soon because I need to burn vacation hours in a serious way. I think I need to dump 3 weeks in the next two months.
23 March 2015 @ 07:14 am
This is going to be one of those mommy entries. I'm sorry.

What a weekend. I had high hopes. The week before my Active Directory got into serious trouble and I spent all day Saturday in work and a good chunk of Sunday working on it remotely. So I took part of Thursday and all of Friday as comp time expecting to have a nice weekend with a little bit of sane time. That would give me a day to unwind from work, then we'd have Janna's parents over, then we'd have a day to unwind from that.

And that worked Friday. Janna took Nora to the local children's museum and I stayed at home and got a few hundred words of my new piece done as well as just some relaxing peace and quiet. I took care of the shopping and made dough for pizza. We had a nice evening. All was well in the world.

Then about midnight, Nora simply erupted. I'm guessing it was something picked up at the museum, but she just puked everywhere and that pretty much repeated itself all night long. Due to the odd layout of our house, she still sleeps with us, so when I say erupted, I mean erupted on us. Well, I think she missed the cat.

Given the evening's festivities we cancelled for the second week in a row on having her grandparents over for dinner and spent the day being quiet. And a little shellshocked. She started to come out of it about the middle of the day and perked up and was able to eat.

Then we discovered the other shoe dropping. With huge piles of wet sheets, blankets, duvet covers, and everything else under the sun, our dryer decided to die. It runs for about fifteen minutes, then shuts off with a lint filter warning and never warms up. Well, the lint filter is perfectly clean so it must be a sensor or it needs the internal ducting cleaned or something. Janna will call the repair people today. We have some nice independents who were able to fix our refrigerator rather than telling us to replace it. Hopefully they can do the same with our dryer.

For extra bonus points, Janna's parents didn't pick up when we called to cancel and when we made our third call without them picking up the phone or calling back, we started to freak out because of the unsafe nature of their home. Apparently it required actually telling them to call us because when Janna did that, they finally called back an hour later. (They do not have a cell and her father has his email set to delete everything as spam.)

Then yesterday Janna started to feel sick and I'm not exactly firing on all cylinders so more or less the weekend was a complete loss. I barely wrote. The house is a shambles. And now I'm back to work, which I very sincerely could do without for another day.
26 February 2015 @ 11:00 am

Yesterday I woke to find around 5 inches of snow had fallen over night instead of the 1-3 inches we'd been told was coming, which was already too much. I almost wept. It doesn't really impact me all that much other than slip sliding down the driveway, but it is really getting to me emotionally. It's just disruptive to constantly be wondering if the power is going to go out and so on. We've actually been looking at vacations for next winter, maybe a Disney Cruise which we figure would be Nora friendly.

Nora is doing great. She's starting to pick up the ability to recognize and "read" some words. Socially, she's still improving. She has official "friends" at school and is going to a birthday party this weekend. Unless it's postponed again due to blizzard. We watched My Neighbor Totoro last weekend with her, which she absolutely loved. She wants a catbus and saw a photo of a giant one at the Ghibli museum and announced we should get one and there was enough space in the living room for it.

My book is starting to get past that first month rush, but it burbled back up to #1 in lesrom today. Sales are a bit slower as it is February, but by the end of next week, I should qualify for the Romance Writers of America published author network, which is pretty cool. I also have an audio book currently in production with a great narrator.

So with all those proceeds. I bought myself a computer! A really nice iMac. The top of the line "late 2013" 27 inch. I got it from the refurb store (which are mostly "buyers regret" not actual refurbs) and when it came, it had an upgraded video card and huge 3gb hard drive. Unlike the MacMini, this one is working out great.

My second book is coming along. I'm at 19,000 words. It's a young adult about two 17 year olds thrown together when their families take a combined vacation. The presumptive title is "Our Demented Play Date."

10 February 2015 @ 11:27 am
I got uncharacteristically ambitious yesterday for dinner and made an Asian noodle stir fry. It was basically little chunks of fried chicken, along with whatever veggies we had around, and noodles. I did the chicken in small batches, soaked in siracha and soy and dredged in corn starch. They really came out great, just like the General Tso's or whatever.

The big achievement was that, for once, I nailed the noodles. Nailed them. Wonderful flavor and not falling apart. Perfect in every way I could imagine. I can't even list the number of times I've had wilted noodles or ones that stuck to the wok and ended up half as much. Part of my success, I'm sure, was a different brand of noodle. I was also careful about how much they were cooked and did a lot of seasoning and added a bit of oil while they were still in the (non-stick) pasta pot.
09 February 2015 @ 07:53 am
This weekend was really rather exhausting. We had Janna's parents over on Saturday and I made home made pizza from scratch with fresh mozzarella and a fresh real caesar salad and the whole nine yards. The food was great, but we scheduled fairly early and our house was a mess so by the time they arrived, I was already pretty pooped.

Yesterday, ugh. Maybe best not to talk about it, but Nora was pretty much in demon mode. "NO!" was pretty much her one word vocabulary. The night culminated with her being allowed a half hour of Frozen puzzles on her kindle followed by an ultimate meltdown when the half hour was over.

On the other hand, I roasted pork in the slow cooker and Janna made this amazing jimaca slaw and we had the most amazing soft corn pork tacos.

I didn't get any writing done between going nuts cooking saturday and just going nuts on Sunday. Seventh is still #1 in lesbian romance, but I know I need to have something ready for March to keep that momentum. I'm just stuck on a scene and need to push thruogh it.
26 January 2015 @ 12:32 pm
So apparently we're about to be obliterated by snow. We're expecting 15+ inches and 70mph windws which pretty much means 24+ hours without power (or heat), quite possibly two or three days, and God only knows how long to shovel out of. I'm stockpiling electronics so I can write. I'm not excited about Nora being in a cold house for a day or more. There's a good chance this will be the worst storm since we moved here 15 years ago and it's not going to be happy times.

I am maniacallly downloading crap to read and watch during the downtime, but batteries are only going to hold out for so long.

Speaking of writing, my first novella is available for pre-order. It's on the hot new releases and the top sellers for lesbian short reads, so I guess that's good. Though I suspect it's two or three of my friends, not big sales. We shall hope for the future. If it can get onto those lists, it gets visibility and pretty much everything goes from there.