Monthly Archives: February 2015

Raining On My Porch

Wednesday was my day off and it did not get off to a good start.

I was in the bathroom and the furnace was running. When it stopped I thought I heard water running and the water pressure in the bathroom was low.

And I wasn’t running any water…

We’ve had problems with the hot water pipe to the kitchen sink freezing up this winter, but I hadn’t heard any water running when I’d passed through the kitchen, but I checked anyhow.

Nope.  Not the kitchen.  Still had cold water but no hot.

Now, one of our neighbors (we’re the center unit of a triplex) had managed to break pipes in her apartment and blow up the boiler, so at first I thought they were doing something over there, but, nope, no signs of anyone.

I started investigating, and found the source:  water was pouring out of the porch ceiling. It looked like it was raining on the back porch.

So, I went out into the rain on the porch and can’t tell where it’s coming from except that it’s running between the boards on the ceiling.

On a hunch, since I could still hear water running through a pipe, I turned off the hot water to the kitchen and the rain slowed and stopped, and the water pressure in the bathroom went back to normal.

But then we had a drip inside.

This just keeps getting better and better…

The drip is coming not from a water pipe, but from where the vent pipe from the hot water tank joins the air intake (I think) for the furnace. I put a towel under it and then a bucket, but that drip stopped too.

Crisis temporarily under control, the next step was to notify the landlords.  I have three numbers for the landlady and couldn’t reach her on any of them.

My roommate was at work, so I left her a voice mail (and a text) for her to call and have landlord call me, because I know she has the right number in her phone.

Roommate called back to see what was going on so I explained.

She called back again — landlord was tied up until 3:30, but since it’s not an emergency situation anymore, that’s fine. She got emergency leave to come home, though, so that’s even better.

So, I go up to my room to catch up on the world and try to settle down and do some writing.

No such luck.

Shortly after noon there is a knock on the door.  The landlord stopped over on his lunch break to see what was wrong and how bad it was.

And he solved mystery.

Our kitchen is actually over the back porch. I knew this but didn’t make the connection to the fact that the pipes for the sink run up the outside wall and then make a sharp turn and go under the kitchen floor/over the porch ceiling before turning up to the sink. That’s where they’ve been freezing and that’s where the break is. (This also explains why the cold water pipe has been freezing up. As he pointed out, water lines three feet under ground have been breaking this winter.)

The good news is that it’s an easy fix and he can do it himself.

The bad news is that he can’t do it until the weather breaks, so we’ll be heating water on the stove to wash dishes for a while. (He’ll have to cut a hole in the porch ceiling, fix/replace the pipe, and repair the hole.)

Looks like we’ll be eating a lot of pizza…

(Okay, so there is a bright spot.)

Meanwhile, all of this is happening while I’m battling the cold from hell, so that little incident pretty much ate up my energy for the day.

So, needless to say, not much writing got done.

Actually, not much writing has gotten done this week at all.  I’ve been too miserable to focus so I’ve been lucky to kick out a hundred words or so instead of a thousand. (What a difference a zero makes!)

But I will hit my monthly goal today. (Good thing, because tomorrow is the end of the month.)

In part because I’m feeling slightly better (although I’ve started coughing a lot this afternoon) and partly because I need to stay off FaceBook for a while because all of the Leonard Nimoy posts are making me cry (which is not exactly helping the sinuses).

Part of the problem (besides being sick) has been a struggle with an upcoming scene.

It’s a fight scene, which is bad enough, but the real problem is that I’m not sure where to put it.

So I did some brainstorming in 750words.com the other night.  I still don’t know where to put it, but I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t be the next thing I write: I need to show the lead up to it a bit so it doesn’t come out of nowhere.

I also need to decide who dies.

 

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Wednesday Words #9 2-25-15

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

10 months (until something happens or since something happened)
a card
a statue

 

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Ramblings From a Cold-Fogged Mind

So, my roommate had a cold.  She got over it and I was congratulating myself for not getting it.

Ha!

Tuesday night my throat started hurting and by Friday I was pretty sure I had swallowed shards of acid so I called off work.  I called off on Saturday too because I was feeling even worse. I probably should have gone to urgent care for a strep test, but the roads were horrible and it wasn’t worth the risk.

The two extra days off work did not exactly translate into extra words, though: I mostly stared at my computer and shared stuff on FaceBook, which was about as much energy – mental or physical – that I could summon.

Back to work yesterday and I am wiped out.  For one thing, I got pulled to “Hell Hall” which means pretty much no downtime at any point in the shift.  If I thought I still felt ragged before I got there, I was in misery when I got home.

(And I have two more shifts to go…)

I have been managing to at least keep up with the thousand words a day, though, and I did get ahead a little bit.  I’m holding onto a 4k lead right now, which means I’ve almost hit February’s goal.  I’m going to keep pushing, though: Camp NaNoWriMo is in April and I need this book to be finished by then, even though I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do in April, yet.

I might start the sequel to Song and Sword, or maybe I’ll try (again!) to finish Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy.  I don’t think it will need 50,000 words to finish it, though, so if I do that, I’ll also go back and write the other version of Book One of the current (still unnamed) trilogy.  (The whole book won’t need to be re-written, just part of the middle where things detoured away from my outline.)

And if I still haven’t hit 50,000 words I’ll tackle Book Three of The Other Mages trilogy.  That’s going to be tricky to do when I’m counting words, though, as some of it is already written.

Actually, most of it is already written. It was a complete novel.  But it was my first NaNoWriMo novel and has plot holes you can fly an Air Force squadron through and a character who changed alignment midway through and…

Yeah, it’s in need of a major re-write, but I’m not sure that it’s a rewrite that I can do while counting words.

Fortunately April is still over a month away so I have time to figure out what I’m doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 22, 2015

This is an excerpt from my current project.  This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.

This continues from last week (and may be a touch over the limit, but I’m hoping to move on to something else next week.)

 

“But?” Arrek prompted. 

“I’m sure you don’t want to listen to me babble about something that happened over a decade ago.”

“That sounds like Berrebren talking.”

“It probably is but he’s probably right,” Ta’elsin replied, shrugging as he glanced at the warrior. “What do you think of Berrebren?”

“I think he is cold, condescending, and has an over inflated sense of his own importance.”  He smiled.  “My grandfather would have said that if you could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth you’d have made your fortune and would never have to work another day in your life.”

Ta’elsin choked back a guilty laugh and Arrek smiled. “How close am I?”

“I… think I should probably not agree with you.”

“At least not out loud?”

Ta’elsin stared at him for a moment and burst into laughter.  “Yes.  At least not out loud.”

 

 

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have the “Shoulds”

Writing is my main love, my primary hobby.  (I don’t make enough money at it for it to have anything more than “hobby” status.)  It is what I spend most of my free time doing and my non-free time thinking about.

But I do have other hobbies:  I crochet, I do counted cross stitch, and I collect stuff for scrapbooking.  And then there is my much neglected dollhouse renovation.  And a few million hobbies that I want to learn.  And I’d like to do some gardening this summer (if summer ever comes) even though it will just be container gardening.

Oh! And my rats!  We can’t forget the rats!  It’s way too hard to resist them when they tug at my sleeve or pant leg because they want to come out to see me.  It’s also really hard to type with a rat in your sleeve.

But (aside from cleaning the rat cage) I find that I feel guilty when I engage in another hobby.  It’s not so much like I’m cheating on my writing as it is having a case of the “shoulds” – as in, I should be writing.

But then sometimes when I’m writing I start to feel guilty about the stashes of yarn and cross stitch stuff that are going unused and I feel like I should be stitching or hooking. (Hooking = crocheting. Get your minds out of the gutter. This isn’t that kind of blog. Sheesh!)

But as soon as I start doing one of them, I feel guilty because I should be writing.

(Note: this only happens when I’m struggling to get words out – when I’m really inspired and the words are flowing well nothing else even crosses my mind.)

And, then, of course, there are the other “Shoulds.”

I should clean the house.
I should do dishes.
I should organize papers.
I should cook supper.
I should get some sleep.

Does anyone else suffer from this?  How do you balance writing with other hobbies and more mundane activities?

 

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Wednesday Words #8 2-18-15

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt is a little different. It’s a line from my favorite poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot.

 “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Indecision and Incest

*sigh*

I love to write. I love to write. I love to write.

I love this trilogy. I love this trilogy. I love this trilogy.

Both of those things are true, but right now…?

Argh!

There are a couple of quotes that fit well right now.

“Indecision is the basis of flexibility.”
(Unknown)

and

“In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”
(“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot)

This trilogy is making me extremely flexible because it has a lot of those minutes.

First there is Book One where a deviation from my outline has me writing a second version of part of it so I can decide which one I like better.

Book Two more or less behaved itself, other than the fact that it is way too short so is going to need some beefing up when I start the rewrite.

Book Three has been going along quite nicely until a couple nights ago.

I wrote a scene and was ready to move on.  Then at work last night I jotted down a note to insert a bit of dialogue, and when I was home and started on my thousand words for the day, that bit of dialogue pretty much changed the entire scene, so now I have two versions of it to sort out, right?

Wrong.  Something in the second version prompted a third version (which I will probably write after work tonight).

Seriously?  What is wrong with me? Three versions of the same scene?

I think my current plot bunnies are showing signs of inbreeding.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 15, 2015

This is an excerpt from my current project.  This is a very rough first draft and may or may not have been creatively edited to fit the 10 sentence limit.

Continuing from last week.

 

Arrek pulled his attention back to the man beside him. 

“You came with Berrebren?”

“He’s been completing my training as a wizard,” Ta’elsin said, nodding.  “The one I was apprenticed to, Sagyl, he became too ill to continue, so he made arrangements for me to go to Berrebren after his death.”

Arrek nodded, hearing the undertones in Ta’elsin’s voice:  sorrow and loss and a touch of… not quite bitterness. 

“What was Sagyl like?” he asked.  “Berrebren has been here before and I know that he’s not… the kindest soul in the world.”

Ta’elsin’s lips twitched at Arrek’s words.  “Sagyl was… He was kind and gentle and encouraging and loving.  He…” He closed his eyes.  “He saved my life but…”

 

 

 

(The prologue is available on Wattpad if you’d like some background information.)

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PORN!

Now that I have your attention…

I’m still staying even (and slightly ahead) on the 1K-a-Day Challenge.  I did take a break from the novel to write some unpublishable stuff, though.  I needed to write – wanted to keep the habit intact – but just didn’t feel like working on the novel and didn’t want to start something new or work on another exiting project.  It was a nice change, and it was fun, but I do feel a little bit guilty.

Not because what I wrote was some really weird porn (which it was), but because I wasn’t working on my current novel.

But I’m back at it now, and, truth be told, I’m not really feeling all that guilty.  It was fun, no one else will ever to have to see it, and it got… Well, I don’t want to say it got my juices flowing because, well, it was porn and that’s not what I’m talking about.

But that break from “serious” writing did get my (creative) juices flowing again and made me eager to dive back into the current novel without a name.

And, even better, because it wasn’t related to anything that I’m working on, like my little side story that will be part of one of The Academy of the Accord books, and isn’t part of anything that I plan to develop in any way, I don’t feel pulled to continue working on it at all.

I’ve mentioned before that writing a sex scene in your novel can break you out of a run (even if you edit it out later).  Apparently writing flat out unrelated porn also can get you out of a rut.

Or maybe I just needed a brief break.

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Wednesday Words #7 2-11-15

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

4 Wed Words -- gypsy girl

Write about her.

 

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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