Happy birthday to us, WANA1011!

In October 2011, I took an online course in social media taught by Kristen Lamb along with almost a hundred other writers. Little did we suspect that one year later most of us would still be in touch, celebrating our successes and easing our struggles.

Happy one-year birthday, #WANA1011! Let’s have another. And another. And another after that.

Human cycles: history as science

Human cycles: History as science : Nature News & Comment.

In the current issue of the weekly science journal Nature, freelance science journalist Laura Spinney writes about cliodynamics, the application of scientific modeling to history.

Peter Turchin at the University of Connecticut, who developed the method, suggests that we should anticipate severe political upheaval around the year 2020, similar to the political instability of the post-Civil War period, the Roaring Twenties and the flower power era.

We may live to see even more interesting times! (Wait a minute—isn’t that a curse?)

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy

One of my favorite writers has passed away.

Maeve Binchy made everyday life more fascinating than

Vampires, werewolves and zombies

Interstellar travel

Regency dukes

Lost civilizations

Ménages à trois

Secret societies

Aliens

Cannibalistic but intellectual mass murderers

Wizards, warriors and witches

Elves, dwarves and dragons.

That’s a lot for one writer to do

In a single lifetime.

Real is better.

Thanks.

Rattlesnake at Nadiana’s door

We have an email chat line in our neighborhood, and news gets around pretty fast. This is what showed up today: a photo of the rattlesnake that tried to get into Nadiana’s house, lying dead on her doormat.

Nadiana’s daughter discovered the snake this morning when she opened the front door and almost stepped on it. Nadiana killed it with a hoe. Shannon lent the hoe and took the photo.

Jacki chimed in that her husband ran over a small rattler with the lawn mower a couple of weeks ago. Never noticed until the next time he walked by, when it was lying there in four pieces. Didn’t last long, though: by the end of the day, the fire ants had eaten every bit.

Other neighbors are complaining that Shannon didn’t save the rattlesnake so they could add it to their chili at our next neighborhood chili cook-off.

The Hill Country is a whole ‘nother place.

I want it.

It’s art. No, it’s soap. No, it’s art?

My daughter just sent me this photo of her newest soap creation. I’m posting it because I’m flabbergasted. Seems a shame to call this soap! It’s art you can wash with. She told me it’s called “Cruise,” and smells like a sea breeze with coconut and orange.

Too bad, though–I can’t get any of this batch until it cures. That takes three or four weeks. I’ll wait.

 

Epub number four

Ellie’s responsible for her job, her little boys and the old man she helps when she can. Until now, she’d never realized that her responsibilities are what make her strong.

Yesterday, I epubbed my fourth short ebook to Amazon and Smashwords. It’s a short story that originally appeared in Ellery Queen’s® Mystery Magazine under one of my previous names (I’ve had too many of them).

Last night I was hoping to epub another, but I’ll take the time to go over it once more. A few points can be developed to make it more fun to read.

There’s the temptation to submit it somewhere, but at this point I feel that would only hold me back. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but it seems that would be moving backwards, marking time, and I can’t do that anymore.

Having these five epubs available was one of my goals, and it’s almost done. Time to clear the decks! I haven’t gotten as much done on my WIP as I’d wanted during this ROW80, but it is up to 30k. Surely I can get rid of it–I mean, finish it–in another two weeks if I don’t freeze up.

I refuse to grow old and die with all these stories trapped in my head! Isn’t that how ghosts are made?

One day at a time

My third little ebook, a 3,600-word story called “Sleep,” was edited and then published to Amazon and Smashwords yesterday.

Like my story “Rage,” epubbed on Amazon and Smashwords last week, it’s in a genre I call “mommy noir.”

I find that one extra thing can get done per day. It might not be a very big thing, such as a few minutes spent on social media here and there during a brief break on a workday. More involved projects can get done during the weekend.

Yesterday I also set up my Amazon author page and did some social media. Today there’s this blog post.

This week is already filled, so I don’t know how much extra will get done. There’s an work deadline coming up, and a couple of meetings at the end of the week. Life is busy. Sometimes too busy. I’m not bored!

Some failure, some success. Surprisingly, more success

Time to look back at my original real and fantasy goals. Some that I thought would be easy still seem impossible but, to my surprise, some of my fantasy goals are going strong. Some are turning out better than I’d anticipated, like the one on the left.

1) Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).

Fail! I do get outside to water the garden, which counts as exercise since I haul the water in 5-gallon plastic buckets, but sleeping seems like a lost cause. If I want to do more, I have to sleep less. After I stop work, I go to work. If anything’s going to get done, that’s the way it has to be.

Some things to keep in mind: As long as I hold to a modified primal/paleo diet (modified to include unsweetened soymilk, which seems to do me good) and eat almost no grain, sugar or dairy, my strength holds up so I can maintain a strenuous schedule. I’m chafing right now because I found a new CrossFit gym ten minutes from home, and I yearn to try a stand-up paddleboard. My budget’s holding me back more than my lack of sleep.

2) Real goal: Work my job only 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 1 hour for lunch, no evening or weekend work. Fantasy goal: Maintain the quality of my science editing and other job obligations while meeting my deadlines and not stressing out. Continue reading