Tag Archives: chores

My off day

Today was kind of a surprise, but has been known since the weekend. My wife is off, and that makes writing impossible. I moved one big chore to today so I could recover tomorrow as a writing day.

I spent quite a bit of my morning on various social media sites, because there was no good reason not to. I find myself avoiding Twitter on my off days, and this held true today. I put most of my Twitter effort into supporting others, so I tweeted out those blogs I read. I’ll get back to tweeting out your pinned tweets later this week.

I waited until about ten o’clock to head for the dump. First I salvaged the few high peaches the birds didn’t get to, and put my ladder away. The season is over, but these late peaches are the best ones I’ve ever grown. I’ve been snacking on them morning noon and night. I’ll miss them until next year.

The dump has evolved since I was a kid. In my hometown you could go to the dump whenever you wanted and it didn’t cost a thing. This included the middle of the night if that’s the time you had available. Today they have business hours and they charge.

There is the pay booth, then you have to stop again for some kind of traffic director guy. He had a problem because I had branches and grass. They want to mulch the branches, but can’t do it if there is grass worked in. I finally convinced him it was one single bag of grass and I could easily place it aside. He directed me to unload my branches, but I had to put the bag of clippings in a different place. (Dude, I’m sorry I didn’t bring two trucks so one included only a single bag of clippings.)

Finally, he handed me a green safety vest and let me in. (I’d already paid, so I didn’t think he would send me home for a second truck.) Since when do we have to wear a safety fest to unload garbage???

The load was nasty and slimy, because the remaining peach parts were rotting now. I got wet, I got slimed, and there is some kind of ooze in my truck bed now. However, it’s done. I don’t have to deal with it tomorrow, and there are no clouds on my Wednesday horizon.

I did make some baby steps on the formatting front for Viral Blues. These involved an exchange of emails to address some minor issues. It had to get done, and this kept it off my Wednesday schedule, so bonus.

Many of you were interested in my zucchini grown in a pot. This old pot has grown petunias out front for over ten years. When the idea occurred to me, I dumped the tired remaining soil in the flower bed and raked it smooth. I bought a big bag of potting soil, cleaned some doggie debris from the back yard for the bottom of the pot, then added the potting soil. When the roots reach the bottom, they’ll get a dose of high-powered fertilizer when they likely need it.

The pot is on the back patio now. I selected a bush variety to avoid vines going everywhere. Most of those don’t produce as much, but let’s face it, zucchini tend to produce more than you want anyway.

The whole project is about four feet tall now, and may get a little bigger as summer goes on. My wife is talking about some stuffed squash blossoms for supper very soon.

Attempting to write tomorrow, then it’s back to work for the rest of the week.

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The day I gave completely up

This may sound kind of spoiled to a few of you, but it’s a slice of the author life. My prime writing time has always been mornings. This applies to all endeavors in life. If you want me at my best, catch me early. This works at the paycheck job and everywhere else.

My tree trimming insists on getting done in the morning. This is a matter of necessity, because of the heat. You can see this shaping up to be a struggle.

I got up early and tackled HMS Lanternfish. It’s now over 11,000 words and growing. Today was never going to be a super productive one, because I talk to my parents every Sunday. After that, I tackled the tree… again.

With my brand new blade on the Sawsall, I sallied forth. Thirty minutes later, I’d managed to cut one branch about the size of a half-dollar. What the hell! My goal was to chunk these up into manageable sizes, removing weight until I reached the break. This way the final cut wouldn’t cause more damage.

I gave up on plan A, and tackled the big cut. This thing was smoking before I finally managed the cut, and there is still one more to do. Some minor branches got broken in the big event, so I got out the ladder and a hand saw. It seemed to work faster than the damned electronic thing did. While I was up there, I salvaged some nice high fruit.

Old What’s Her Face came home from work and helped me load my truck. I was nearly there… until she said, “The dump is closed today. You can just do it tomorrow.” That’s when I lost it. I’ve given up my morning every single day of this vacation for this stupid project. Now I have to give up even more time to finish it.

She reminded me that she’s off Tuesday, which isn’t ideal for my productivity. I wanted to go through the roof, but resisted. Essentially, I lost Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I don’t begrudge her a day off, it’s just the way things happen. I decided the damned residue could sit in my truck until Tuesday, and I’d haul it off then.

If you remember the heat, my garage smells like peach schnapps now, and I don’t care. I’ll deal with it Tuesday, but I’m going to do my thing – for me – tomorrow. (And I’m going to drink tonight. The hard stuff.)

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Some new words, some chores too

Today was my flex day. I was looking forward to getting some new words down, and I managed that to a degree. It feels slightly over 1000 words, so it isn’t much.

This time I worked on Serang. What I wanted to happen was for her to fall in with a gang of thieves. It started out with her master being bitten by a camel spider.

These are hideous beasts with long pointy jaws. They live all over the world, and I even killed one in my home when I lived in Nevada. People there call them air scorpions. Most of them aren’t hairy like this photo, and they’re a disgusting smooth nude color. This was the free-use photo I could find.

A bit of research revealed they are not actually poisonous to humans, but they are believed to be by the common people. I decided since this is a fantasy world, they’ll be venomous if I say so and went with it. They can also be as big or small as I want.

This also led me down a path involving a city at the beginning of a trade route. The country of Di Guo Quishi is a fantasy version of China, so think about the Silk Road here.

The Emperor has taken most of the men for his war. Many of the normal jobs are held by women or even children. How might the goods be exchanged, purchased, stored? How might the money flow? What kind of goods might flow into the west?

Most of these things involve one line or word, but I like to put the thought into them.

After this leg of the journey, they’re going to continue with their little quest by joining a caravan. I needed someone from the western world who will lead them. I decided since Don Velasco (From Lanternfish) was the fourth son in his family, I had one Velasco son to spare. (The eldest inherits the estate, the second gets a military appointment.) Everyone else had to fend for himself. This third Velasco son is the captain of a caravan heading back to his country.

This city has an active thieves market, and young Serang is kind of judgmental about it all. Eventually, if she’s going to become a pirate, she has to make an adjustment.

Unfortunately, I never got to the thievery part. I had chores to do. I have a hunch it’s going to turn into a massacre, but haven’t decided yet.

I ran into town and got my truck sniffed for emissions. It passed, but killed an hour of my day. When I got home, I had just enough time to schedule Lisa Burton Radio for tomorrow. Then I had a deviled ham sandwich.

Please come back tomorrow and check out the Fondant Lion. He’s pretty cute, and I think you’ll like the book he’s in too.

Today, Frankie helped me write. I may have gotten more done without her, but she’s hard to resist.

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Planning and scheming

This is my flex day. I mentioned before that I work ten hour days, and get a rotating day off each week. We get the occasional three day weekend out of the deal, and this is one of mine. It also allows for a bit of manipulation if you watch the calendar. That’s what I’ve done for November.

My next flex day is Wednesday the 7th. I took vacation on the 8th and 9th. This means I’m off from the 7th through the 12th, because the 12th is a holiday. Burn 20 hours of vacation and get six days off. Not a bad deal.

This weekend is going to be all about clearing the decks. We’re taking the camper to have it winterized this afternoon. Since we got paid, we’ll probably work in date night. I can still get my Halloween tee shirt at Old Chicago if we hurry, and that’s likely where we’ll end up. Probably time to coil up the hoses and drain the water heater to keep ahead of the silt. I might even get a haircut, just to get it out of the way.

I’ll have time to work on some Lisa Burton Radio slots if anyone is interested. The recent ones have produced really well. Some of that has to do with the book being presented, but also the involvement of the author. The last few authors have shared everywhere, and are still sharing everywhere. I see the click throughs to Amazon too. Lisa could use another few guests right now.

I’ll probably keep polishing up Lanternfish this weekend.

During my vacation I want to hit it hard. There is a new story I started, and my work life just didn’t allow me time to do much with it. If I clear the decks this weekend, my vacation time is wide open to make some real progress.

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Ahhh, shorts again

I got up and put pants on about 6:00 this morning. It’s now 7:00 at night, and I finally changed into my shorts again.

There was a long wait at the haircut place, and about all you can do there is watch some random college football game while you wait. I got my haircut though, and could check something off my list.

With a couple of hours between that and my car appointment, I set up some documents to work on at the dealership. They have a nice little work area where I can plug in my iPad and work away.

Except, for the wifi issue. Whenever I’m out, wifi is always questionable as to whether it will handle my email. Today, it did not. No idea why this happens, but it’s always been that way.

This posed a problem, because all of the stuff I needed involved attachments to email. I got those email a week ago, but I couldn’t open the attachments.

I still managed to do everything except for one Lisa Burton interview. I can easily do that tomorrow, but I could have done it today.

We went to Kahoots tonight for prime rib. We skipped the bread pudding. It kind of gives me an acid stomach at night, and my wife was full too. It was still a nice night out.

Sometimes you just have to do stuff. Today was my day for stuff. I can get my interview project sent out tomorrow, and that will complete my list. If I have an extra bit of peace and quiet I may even tackle a micro fiction I want to work on.

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Gotta wear pants

This is my short weekend in the rotation. I only have Saturday and Sunday off. Nobody feels sorry for me, I’m pretty sure.

My goals for the weekend are two Lisa Burton interviews. I have one that’s finished, and just need to assemble and schedule it. Then I have one I need to work up the shtick for and send it to the author.

This actually eats up some time, but is well worth it.

I’d like to get that last micro piece written for my October thing. I have high hopes, but we’ll see how it goes.

That doesn’t seem like a big list, but I have to go out in the world on Saturday. Means I have to dress like an adult and do things. It takes a long time to do things in Boise. Everything is far from everything else.

I need another haircut. I’m so jealous of you bald guys sometimes.

It’s also time to get my truck serviced. This usually takes a couple of hours, but I can take my iPad to the work center and get some things done.

Today is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday, so we’re going out tomorrow night. All this doesn’t give me many hours for projects. That’s the big reason why I don’t have many goals.

I call my parents on Sundays, and I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of spare time.

If Sunday gives me some time, I need to get a post written for Story Empire. Beyond that, I’d like to start scheduling my micro pieces for Halloween. These aren’t goals, and I’m considering them as the bonus round. If I can manage the items up above the weekend will be a success. Anything else is gravy.

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Scouting Ahead

I like to formulate a plan for what projects I might take on during the coming weekend. This weekend, I lucked out and got four days.

One of my first priorities is going to be Lisa Burton Radio. I have two friends who sent me stuff, and I need to get those working. The interviews go back and forth a few times, and I can likely finish both of them this weekend. With a bit of luck.

I’m earmarking some time for BookBub. I signed up, but I haven’t done anything with it. I see people are finding me there, and I need to do some follow-backs, and add some book reviews too. A bit of monkeying around will give me confidence to do more with it. Also, after I get caught up, it will be easier to stay on top of it.

I’m also in need of some page long micro-fiction for my October posts. I have a list of concepts, and usually free write them, so it might not be too rough.

I have a couple of novels languishing on my Kindle app, and need to get on with reading them. I also have a couple of story-craft books I want to spend some time with.

I also have a couple of guest posts to assemble and schedule. I’ll make sure I take care of my friends before I do anything else.

Lower down on the priority list is editing. This starts with word searches for things I frequently get wrong. After those are addressed, I need to start reading it and finding the confusing passages.

There are some mundane things too. I need to replace some lightbulbs, pick up some branches, that kind of thing.

I’m hoping to make some serious progress this weekend. Some of the small things like scheduling the guest posts, I’ll actually finish. Others, like reading and editing will likely go on for weeks.

It’s an ambitious list, but I think I can make a dent in it. What do you guys have planned? Are you working on projects, or doing something more fun?

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