Tag Archives: COVID

Not much to report, but I’ll do my best

I planned to write this weekend, but Covid changed that for me. Old What’s Her Face was scheduled to work, but that didn’t happen. Oddly enough, it sounds like they want her back for her Thanksgiving shift. It appears you either get better in ten days or you die. We kind of hoped she would at least get the holiday off.

I had to make a trip to the office to drop off projects and pick up new ones. No idea how long my work will make me quarantine, but I tested negative and have zero symptoms. I’ll figure it all out in the coming week.

I even stopped on the way home to do the shopping. I knocked it out of the park. Years ago, I did the shopping, but that’s been a long time. You kind of instinctively know what you’re running low on, like laundry soap. Thank God for lists.

As far as writing, it was catch as catch can. I never really got specific times for my projects. I added a line here and there, and jumped between books to a degree.

I wrote another action scene for Serang, but stopped before the wrap up. She still needs to assess the battle and the location of specific things near her before moving her army.

Lizzie and the hat are also proving difficult. Lizzie hasn’t figured out there is a monster in their midst, and my old cop character is having no luck with his murder investigation. I wound up writing the next murder discovery, but forgot that Lizzie and the Pythons had to play a gig before the event.

I’ve never done this before, so I blame having too much on my mind. I’ll have to back up and add that event. The danger here is overkill. This was a two night gig, and this will be the second night. I need to spread some suspicions more than have the band rock out. Don’t quite know how I’m going to pull that off, but I need to minimize it since readers attended the Friday night show.

I’ve spent a lot of time counting calendar dates and comparing them to the lunar cycle. I don’t need a specific year when I do this. I hope the stories aren’t that limited in scope and have some longevity. I learned that the last possible day Thanksgiving can happen is November 28th. If the full moon occurs the weekend after (Because of gig schedules on weekends) this would be a blue moon.

This means my next full moon would be December 29th. Between the gig I need to back up and write and the December date, the cop should be chasing a possible killer and Lizzie should be chasing a monster. (No idea if that’s a weekend or not, but I almost hope not. Lizzie and the hat will need some freedom to hunt that night.

I picked this setting for a couple of reasons. First, all of the Hat stories seem to wrap up around Halloween and I want to break the mold a little. Second, blood on snow makes for a good visual. It stays red and doesn’t dry brown like blood on leaves. It also has to be washed away, leaving an ice slick, or loaded and carted off. With multiple victims, I can do both.

I may try to hack out a couple of paragraphs to repair my story this evening. Drives me nuts to have something in a state of disrepair like that.

The scorecard:

  • Wreck of the Lanternfish = 12,571 words
  • Just Plane Wered = 9098 words

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Lamb’s blood on the lintel

Looks like I neglected one of my autumnal chores. To be honest, Home Depot was out of lamb’s blood.

We kind of hoped that by staying home and being hermits all year this virus would pass us by, but that wasn’t to be the case. We both have to work and be around others to a degree.

My wife tested positive for Covid on Monday. As a health care worker, she got a rapid turn around. In fact they told her not to drive off and delivered her results in 20 minutes.

I went for my test on Tuesday. You start off with an online survey to get a case number that you need to write down. They they tell you when and where. It looks something like this.

You aren’t allowed out of your car, you have to be able to follow directions.

After you find a spot, you have to text them with your case number and date of birth. They come out with the kit and you have to swab your own nostrils. The tech bundles everything up and you drive away.

I never got my personal results until about two hours ago. My results were negative. I have no idea how this could happen, because we share a bed, a bathroom, and everything else. Still, there are the results.

I have to quarantine with her, but have to work from home at the same time. Given all the garbage that 2020 threw at us, I’m a veteran of working from home.

Honestly, I’d almost rather have had a positive result at this point. Then I’d have a known date to return to the office. This way, I could be out for two weeks, then earn two weeks of my own at home.

There is no way I’m going to go get the camper after we just winterized it. I’m not moving to another bedroom or any of the garbage people seem to dream up. We live together and we’ll get through this together… or we won’t as the case may be.

Even with a negative test, it messes with your mind. This stuff is on the couch about twelve feet away. It’s more realistic than it was this weekend. I also compulsively checked my email every ten minutes expecting a different answer.

It may not sound like I’m worried, but I am. I know most people don’t have the severe symptoms that make the nightly news, but enough do to be concerned.

This is an author’s blog, so I’ll chock this post up to “slice of life.” I probably won’t update unless there’s something interesting to say. Maybe I can report on word metrics or story gyrations this weekend. That’s why you come here.

Not looking for sympathy or anything. If you take anything away from this, it’s to stay vigilant and even that might not be enough.

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Time for some changes

There hasn’t been anything too interesting going on around here lately. With all the Covid concerns, we work, then we stay home on weekends. It’s been fairly boring, to tell you the truth. Some of this isn’t likely to change any time soon.

We watched a few Halloween movies yesterday, but there wasn’t anything all that exciting. Honestly, there’s just been too damned much television this year. After saying that, I did enjoy the new episode of The Mandalorian.

Old What’s Her Face decided we weren’t going to give out Halloween candy. So, of course, she ran to the store at the last minute, bought a huge bag of candy, and welcomed kids anyway. We didn’t get too many, but we wore masks.

All of my touring is over for 2020. (It’s okay to cheer or breathe a sigh of relief. I feel the same way to a degree.) I like interacting with everyone on blog tours, but it’s a lot of work to come up with unique posts and to keep checking them for days after the posting day. I hope I interacted with everyone who commented, or at least liked the comment if it was directed toward my hosts.

I love all of my hosts. There were many of them over the course of three publications this year. I tried to give some of you a rest and not hit you for every book. Some wanted me to show up anyway. Hopefully, everyone is happy. Remember, I’m here for you whenever I can return the favors.

I really want to start drafting new materials. That’s my happy place. I’m being a little resistant, because I could use a breather. Also, I don’t know that I need three releases next year.

First priority is going to be getting the Lanternfish trilogy wrapped up. Then I want another story for Lizzie and the hat. Anything after that will be gravy. Even if it only comes to a partial draft, that works too.

Beyond that, welcome to Standard Time for those places who still change. Idaho floated a bill to leave us on Standard Time year round, but it failed last year. I have a hunch it will be back. The time changes never bothered me. My body just knows when it’s time, and it feels right today.

They say all blog posts perform better with a picture, so here’s one of Otto rocking out.

Stay safe everyone. Blogging is socially distant, so it’s okay to leave comments.

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We interrupt this blog tour…

I’m supposed to be promoting the heck out of HMS Lanternfish, my new book baby. I’ve done it all week, but it’s the weekend now. Since the free days for Voyage of the Lanternfish have lapsed, I’m going to tone the tour down to a couple of days per week.

Today, still finds me promoting to a certain degree, but stick with me, because I think it’s interesting.

Once Upon at Time (2019) I wrote a book called Grinders. This is a cyberpunk tale about Earth’s near future. I published it on February 18, 2020. Most of my followers understand the writing process, and most of this was a project dating back to the summer of 2019.

Check the publication date once more: February 18, 2020. This was before the world went to crap and everything became one massive upheaval. Some of what I’m about to share with you kind of freaks me out, even though I should feel somewhat justified.

Part of writing in the near-future involves making some guesses at the changes that might happen between now and then. I really put my effort into the world building here.

Since I’ve published, COVID-19 has changed our world, but there have been many changes aside from that.

I wrote about cyber-shut-ins in the book. This was based on the ability to work from home, and have virtually everything delivered, including groceries. We’re already living in that world mere months after I published. I made quite a few projections about things like Alexa and how artificial intelligence would improve over time. These haven’t come true, but I almost think it’s inevitable.

I’m a big believer that history repeats itself, and I’ve seen it too many times to think otherwise. I knew that historically there were many kinds of currency in the United States. This could be anything from Army scrip to company dollars that you could only spend in the company town at the company store. This was a way for big businesses to create a captive labor force, because they couldn’t afford to leave the coal mining community, for example.

I took part of this concept and projected it into cyber-currency. Many cities in Grinders have their own cyber-currency and this led to an active exchange business where executives can work from home as modern-day money changers.

This week, I found a news article involving local currency. It appears one small town in Washington is going back to something they did during the Great Depression. They are printing their own local money to help people get through the C-19 crisis. This money can be spent all over town, and is somehow redeemable for US currency eventually.

This will provide the locals a way to keep the wolf away for now, but it also traps them into shopping local. That helps the local businesses stay afloat, because places like Amazon aren’t going to accept this local currency. You can’t drive down the coast and spend it either.

I see it as one more step toward the world of Grinders. Check out the article here.

I also projected what global warming might do to us a hundred years down the line. The temperature belts have drifted away from the equator. My story is set in San Francisco, which is almost sub tropical now. It still has its cold snaps, but the weather patterns are different.

The seas have risen, and the entire coastline has been changed. Some of the original buildings still stand slightly offshore. These have been modified to allow occupancy of units that are below the waves. You might stumble across Telegraph Island if you’re reading the story. This doesn’t exist today, but could if things keep changing.

Then I found a recent news article. The last Canadian ice shelf has broken up. Read that again. The LAST Canadian ice shelf has broken up. There is a chunk of ice floating around now that is bigger than Manhattan. The article says it will melt rapidly now that it’s surrounded by sea water. Here is the link if you’re interested.

I don’t have links for other articles (sorry) but this has been happening in Antarctica, too. The point is that when all this ice melts, the seas are going to rise. Some of this has been predicted for a long time, but I never actually thought I might see it in my lifetime.

One of the things they’ve predicted is that the Pacific will get the worst of it. There is more melting ice at that tip of the South Pole. Maybe the California Coast will wind up like I predicted.

There are a couple of scenes in the book with holographic projections, even one involving a doctor. Is this so far removed from the tele-medicine we have making headway in the country?

Since all of this seems to be happening now, maybe someone will get to work on some of the good things in the story, like The Grid. A programable surface on the street that pairs with automobiles and drives them for us. No more traffic, because it handles all the cars at once. Oh, it also generates electricity as a kind of solar panel system.

If Grinders sounds like something you might like to check out, I would really appreciate it. I’ll drop a cover and blurb while I’m at it.

We will return to our regularly scheduled blog tour next week.

Blurb:

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with a veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Don’t forget you can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/Grinders

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I hate not having topics

I enjoy blogging, I really do. Talking with everyone that stops over is fun. My life is just kind of boring right now.

Work has been consistent and gets the bulk of my time. That’s no fun to talk about. Every night I try to get through a couple of chapters of HMS Lanternfish with an eye toward getting it published.

This weekend I want to finish my final proofreading and get Lanternfish to the formatter. I’m off on Monday, too, so that might help.

This stuff just isn’t as much fun as drafting new material. That’s when the creative juices are flowing and I have more to post about.

I’m still dabbling with story boards and adding the occasional bit. I’m down to sticky notes instead of index cards and that means they’re ready to write. I added a few graphics to one because they help.

I guess the point is that I’m still working on writing projects, but they aren’t things I can discuss right now. The future is looking bright for Lizzie and the hat, but I can’t talk about it yet.

I had to see the dentist this week. Not fun to talk about either, and in the era of COVID I have some concerns. This is my year to spend from our flex account and I need to have some work done. If I don’t, then someone else will just spend the money and I’ll be put off again.

Today I tried to refill my blood pressure medications. Nope! They insist I come in for an appointment. All they really want to do is milk my insurance, but I don’t have a choice. I swear I’m going to be pissed if all they do it check my blood pressure again. We could do that via telemedicine. They promised to give me enough pills until I could get in to see them. That was big of them.

We hit 102º yesterday and it was 101º when I checked a moment ago. That’s kind of rough, but it’s expected every year.

Not much more to say from Idaho. I hope all of you are doing more interesting things and staying safe… and cool. Hope you’re staying cool, too.

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