This week had major surgery in the immediate family, with all the chaos that ripples outward. The surgery went well, but it’s amazing how the disruptions hit others in unexpected ways. We just spent hours trying to pay a trivial copay where the automated system isn’t sturdy.  Then there’s the mystery robo call supposedly from a gov’t agency that didn’t record who the call is for… it’s extra suspicious as gov’t agencies contact by mail first.  *sniff, sniff* do I smell scam? Why do the gov’t bodies who can’t protect our personal info, refuse to give us the info we need?

Twice is not a Coincidence…

Cover from Necklace of Amber collection

Progress! I released my second collection of short stories, in another mix of fantasy and science fiction. One woman wants a quiet and peaceful home after threat and trauma, a part-time smuggler needs a safe place to hide smuggled hootch, and a young man isn’t sure if it is just jealousy when he doesn’t trust the new magic apprentice. Do invasions end in disarray or in a whimper?


I’m already at work on the next collection for sometime next month. It will be challenging because we have some paving repairs  and gutter replacements scheduled. I’m hoping to finish a series of flash stories into a space gothic mystery. An isolated mansion on a lonely moor really doesn’t seem like that big jump to a space station in the outer solar system to me. The setting and characters are ready, but the plot just sits there or veers away from gothic romance into SF practicality. I’m hoping to do a collection every month for the rest of the year.

NaNo is starting to loom as well. November was so far away, but now it’s only a bit over three months.  I think I may try for a SF story this year, something simpler so I can publish without a paid editor.


Dane with chew toy

Bogart the blue Great Dane by Brandon, per Creative Commons 2.0

def: noun. portmanteau word to describe that period of chaos and unrest while a dog, especially puppy, is integrated into a household. It includes house-training and basic manners like not biting, not jumping, especially on smaller humans, late night is not time for boisterous play. Learning cues goes both ways. The period may be short for adoption of an adult dog, or long for a stubborn puppy who prefers indoor piddling.

Trying period until everyone plays well with others and learns not to run with scissors.

Unthinking Snobbery

The television played in the background yesterday as I wrestled with a sticky story and the host spoke firmly about using the best and freshest ingredients for the recipes that day. Her tone was a mix of bragging and scolding if you didn’t do the same as her, like ‘shame on you!’

I mean, really. Sometimes these ‘best and freshest’ ingredients aren’t available. And more often they are out of the budget to get organic vegetables harvested that morning and shipped in a velvet lined carton. Fresh veggies in the grocery store cost more than those preserved by freezing or canning, and food costs are a prime area to tighten the budget. If you can grow them yourself, that’s great, but that’s not enough for all the year.

Is she telling her students to choose the better appearing tomato on the display? Does she think we prefer the old and wilted vegetables? That’s actually insulting, that we would forget and select a tomato that is rotting and has nibbles taken out, without her reminder. Give tips on how to select better vegetables, instead of a vague command.

Tell me more how to make the best of frozen vegetables or day old sweet corn. (I’m not sure many canned veggies can be saved) People get the best vegetables that they can, don’t nag if they can’t afford the first plantings vines. These wonders of ‘freshest and best’ snobbery aren’t convincing when she gives no definitions.


Wreath of laurel leaves made of gold

Golden Wreath of Laurel Leaves by Tilemahos Efthimiadis, attribution under Creative Commons 2.

At the end of some months, you look back and say, ‘that was a good month.’ Not that I got everything done in June that I wanted to, but some major things improved. Not the least of which was the puppy starting to get the idea what her business is to be done outside.

July doesn’t bode well, with household issues looming, but one major project is done and put to bed. I was a bit burnt out by it so I haven’t done a whole lot for the last week. Some free-floating guilt wants to settle in, but I need to reboot my diligence. NaNo is usually good for that, but I really want to get things moving again.

I need to find a carrot, or more likely a challenge that appeals to my muse.