I PROMISE

To finish Witchfinder tomorrow, but right now I’m going to bed.  For the record, today I cleaned my office.  It will tell those of you who read me how long it’s been since the last time I REALLY cleaned (defined as going through drawers and shelves (though not all of them.  I still haven’t tackled DESK) that I threw away my chapter notes for Heart of Light.  (These are the type of notes that are so cryptic no one else would get them.  Stuff like “Make sure she holds the shoe” that only make sense in the heat of the novel.  In case you think I threw away priceless documents.  My husband won’t let me throw away page proofs, for instance, because he thinks some fan someday might be thrilled to have them.  (These are all at least five years old.  They’re now all electronic.)

94 responses to “I PROMISE

  1. Sleep is prudent. Sleep is good. Insert anecdote about sharpening old saws.

    In somewhat related item: http://www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/tales-from-the-con/prose-and-cons/

  2. The Oyster Wife and I tackled our office together on Monday morning. When we had finished half of it we looked at the clock and realized it was time to retrieve the minions from the indoctrination factory. Still need to tackle the other half. Maybe on Saturday, the Good Lord willing and the zombies don’t rise…

  3. I think that after you are safely dead, and your sons need the money, your page proofs will sell for astronomical prices on whatever passes for eBay. (Or they might just sell for gastronomical prices and the boys will be able to eat out that night.) ;)

  4. Sleep is good. Occasional cleaning also. Can’t complain about content producer doing either (even if just a little itty bit curious as to how the story ends. Just a little. No pressure though. None at all. Just imagine lots of people standing and staring at you).

    I am very understanding especially about the need to sleep right now though. Somebody is doing something which includes using a drill in one of the nearby apartments (I think. Also sometimes a hammer. Plus some more unidentifiable sounds. I’m not quite sure which apartment either, surprisingly hard to locate the source of those sounds when what is done seems to involve drilling on supporting wall/s). Can’t complain because he is doing it during the time when it’s allowed by the apartment house rules. Unfortunately those are also times when I normally sleep. Yay. Feeling a bit sleepy here.

    • Dorothy Grant

      This crowd? Some would stand and stare at her, at least until RES would start sneaking up behind people and shivving them with bad puns, somebody would retaliate, and the pun war would make everybody else move over out of blast radius. Then a different clump of people would get into politics, but it’d end up being on terraforming, while somebody else started riffing on them and composing a filk about Indie vs. Trad, and I’d be on the floor, making happy noises at Havey while he alternated between demanding pettings and threatening to bite me… and from somewhere, somebody would organize food, and Sarah, poor Sarah, would come downstairs eight hours later to wonder who we were, why we’re in her living room, where someone found the bacon-wrapped almond & blue cheese stuffed dates, the scotch, and the bootleg copy of some art movie that’s getting the full MST3K treatment.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Bacon-wrapped almond & blue cheese stuffed dates? Ok, I officially am miffed at you right now, for making me salivate like that this early in the day. Especially when I’m broke and don’t get paid for another week.

      • Hm. How about some steaks after we have finished with the dates? I think I might need something with a bit more substance. Also, Irish coffee. I need caffeine right now, and some cream is always good. When it comes to movies – maybe not just art movies. Has anybody else seen ‘Dracula 3000’? Bad, bad, bad… I’ve seen some comparisons to ‘Manos’. Only good way to watch something like that might be with lots of people and alcohol.

        • There are steaks in the freezer in the laundry room. Don’t eat the NY strips, those are Robert’s. And if one of you can bring a melon, there’s prosciutto. The slicer is downstairs. Free slices of prosciutto around mellon balls. I think there’s some low carb cheesecake at the back of the fridge.

          The micro brews are on the dining room table, because I have yet to put them away. There’s two bottles of wine in the fridge. Don’t touch the vodka, it’s Robert’s.

          If I were you I’d just pop in The Incredibles while you’re waiting, or maybe Galaxy Quest.

          • “The micro brews are on the dining room table, because I have yet to put them away.”

            That’s okay, dark beer is better at room temperature anyways, and why would you want to put them away anyways, you would just have to get them out again.

        • I’ll bring green beans and sweet potatoes for those interested in making a token gesture towards omnivory. And sweet cider and stuff for the two people who don’t drink . . . wine.

        • Sounds good, but PLEASE, not Mammoth steaks, or Mastodon steaks, or wooden stakes. Please. The last time is still too vividly imprinted on my memory.

      • OK, now I really want a meatspace gathering of Hoytians. That sounds like the best party/con I’d ever have attended.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          “Hoytians”? How would you pronounce that? “Hoy-tee-uns”, or “Hoy-shuns”?

          • Hoyt Huns. That serves fair warning to anyone getting us upset.

            • Our militant arm will be the Odd Jobs. “Welcome to the Odds, here’s your bowler with sharpened brim.”

              • I have some throwing knives I’m trying to learn how to use (slow going, since while it would be legal to play with them on my yard if I owned a house, I don’t have that yard. And having knives in your bag is sorta kinda illegal here, but the only place where I can practice is in the forest, some nice spots with rock outcrops I can put the target against there, so…). I might manage that.

                • Did you want suggestions on moving “stuff” around quietly? Nylon tennis racket cases with racket and empty ball cans come to mind, but so does getting a chef’s knife roll with a couple of chef’s knives in front, apron and white over-tunic for your backpack. “What officer? I’m studying for a sous position,” and “ya know, some of the best steel comes with cruddy handles”

                  • Good idea. :D Some fishing tackle would probably work too – simplest form of angling is allowed without a permit, so a couple of hooks, some line and a stick, and carrying a knife or two for the purpose of gutting the fish you might catch is then legal. Of course then there probably shouldn’t be more than one or two.

                • If you could figure out which apartment the building noises are coming from, I would put your target on the adjoining wall :)

            • I misread it — Holy Huns actually ;-)

          • Actually, Wayne, it’s Hoity-ans… 8^)

        • I’ll bring the rum. And the Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirl card game (yes, it is real and SPECTACULAR). Sarah, please assure kittehs I have excellent cat-manners. Human-manners may need work.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Human-manners? What are those? :-)

            • It’s a course for those of us who still have to try and “pass.” Most people don’t need to bother, and your advisor will probably tell you not to waste precious time on it. ;)

          • I have excellent cat manners as well. As for the rest, I suspect that others manners carry me through the day lol.

            • Well– I also have dog manners– yes– a Jack Russell terrier (and currently a chihuahua) taught me those manners. If I can smell you, then I growl at you. LOL No I do not have a pet partner. I am that crazy lady in the apartment complex that know people by their dogs and cats.

          • Dorothy Grant

            I suspect this is going to be one of those parties where everyone goes happy, but the liquor supply in the house has strangely tripled (in volume. The number of bottles is spectacular.), there’s more food than anyone can account for, and the scorch marks out on the driveway have the strangest colors and metal splatters in them, the bookshelf is in disarray from people investigating and getting distracted (or pulling for reference), The smell of cigarette and cigar (and pipe, clove, and um-not-telling) smoke is lingering by the porch, but everything has been very neatly picked up, and there will be discrete phone calls to figure out who accidentally went home wearing who’s shoes and settle the gun trades, which means well after enough-sleep-time the next day, there’s going to be reconvening at the gun range to show off a few things….

          • I’ll bring the coffee, butter and brown sugar, I am assuming Sarah has vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.

            What, doesn’t everybody like their hot buttered rum made with coffee?

      • Well, then someone will need to be petting D’Artagnan — aka teh eeevil — or he’ll get upset rival cat is getting all the attention and pee on something. And Euclid with his naked potbelly (he’s neurotic. He pulls the fur off it.) will be sitting in the middle of the floor and glaring till someone pets him.

        Be gentle with Miranda, she’s a heart patient. And if any of you ventures outside to smoke or scare the neighbors with your conversation, if Greebo lets you pet him, do, but be aware at some point he gets so carried away and doesn’t know what to do, so bites your shoe and runs away. Sandals not advised.

        Oh, and ignore the paper bag covered in equations on the kitchen table. Dan and the boys were doing something after I went to bed.

      • Bad puns? BAD puns!! Here at RES’s Pun Paradise we take our quality control SIRIUSLY and all puns are absotively guaranteed not bad! Horrid, execrable, terrible, atrocious or putrid, but never merely bad.

        mutter-mutter bad puns … milk chocolate of the pun trade … even the poorest purveyor produces puns that are bad … RES’s Pun Paradise has STANDARDS, we flag our puns as darkest chocolate, we does and won’t dump substandard merchandise on unappreciative public. GET ME QUALITY CONTROL, demmit, some heads must roll.

  5. Yesterday (7th) I didn’t write on Perchance to Dream because I was finishing my time taxes. I went to bed early too (around 8 p.m. and didn’t wake up until 7 a.m. this morning). So take care of yourself. (Plus I am still waiting for the doc to tell me if I need to get an antibiotic.)

    • Yeah, same thing here. I crashed hard, and didn’t wake up till seven thirty. I thought I’d go to bed and read, but I got no more than a page in.

      • Understood– we had people wandering around the night before and I kept waking up. You know drunk kids that yell and laugh at 2 or so in the morning. I was up by 4:30 a.m. Of course that means I pay for it the next day. I can’t short my sleep and function well. Hope you sleep well.

        I was dreaming a sci-fi dream of a group of people who were running away from some people that were like your Good Men. ;-) I kept accidentally sabotaging the spaceship. I saw a really nice USB hard drive and disconnected it from the main frame (hey, why would a hard drive type USB be a main portion of the drive capability? Anyway, I woke up.

  6. I didn’t read this last night. I tried to catch up on my OTHER reading. Didn’t go to bed until late, but had one of the most REFRESHING dreams I’ve had in decades. Woke up feeling pretty good, except I still have PSD (Permanent sinus drainage), a hacky cough, and a strange desire to kill, maim, and mangle politicians, especially those that keep forcing my electric bill up, up, and up.

    • “…mangle politicians, especially those that keep forcing my electric bill up, up, and up.”

      You know, it’s almost as if we were told that was going to happen, by those very same dudes. Strange times.

      • I vaguely recall a presidential candidate five years ago saying something like “under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” but if anybody had said a thing like that I am sure the MSM would be reminding us about it, holding that politician accountable.

        • And there was some schmuck who wanted to figure out a way to boost gasoline prices to the levels in Europe, but it’s not like he was the Energy Secretary or anything.

        • There are a few far closer than that (on the City government, and at State level) that have a hand in it, too. There’s also a private war going on here in Co. Springs against a certain Prof. Newmann that kind of has me ticked a bit, also. I believe in working up the chain — start locally and keep at it until I reach the top.

          • Like weeds it is important to yank the worst of them before they get established. I still begrudge Al D’Amato’s tanking of his race against Shmuck Chumer in 1998 (and for touting his campaign consultants to Lauch Faircloth so they could manage him to a loss to Johnny Edwards that same year.)

            And if the Illinois GOP had found somebody better than Alan Keyes to run for that open Senate seat in 2004 …

  7. I managed to get a whole chunk of Project 2 written and plotted yesterday, then finished one of Montaign’s essays (in translation). At that point my brain said “sod off. I quit.”

    Project 2 has turned into at least a two volume, probably three volume, series. Arrrrrrgh!!! (I know, it’s a good problem to have.)

  8. Anent nothing relevant, except the kinds of things SF writers could never have foreseen:

    ‘Ramona the brave’
    By NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY
    Reading Beverly Cleary’s classic 1975 tale, “Ramona the Brave,” to my daughter the other night, I came upon a shocking revelation.

    Ramona, the self-described “spunky” protagonist, is in first grade — yet she bathes herself every night.

    Yes, that’s right. The 6-year-old mixes the hot and cold water, washes herself, shampoos her hair and even wrings out the washcloth — all without the least bit of supervision from her parents.

    The kindergarten moms to whom I related this tale were flabbergasted. We all agreed that our own 6-year-olds were in no position to pull this off — let alone the other feats of independence Ramona exhibits.

    She walks to school by herself. One day, she changes the route she walks without telling anyone.

    Faced with a dog barking at her viciously, she throws her shoe at him and then walks the rest of the way to school. No adults witness this sequence, and she tells no one at school that she’s missing a shoe.

    Just the number of minutes in a day when Ramona is without grownup supervision is a jolt to modern sensibilities.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/why_our_kids_aren_ramona_the_brave_WfLWzlBFTYdwRdVVeugnJN

    • Wait, I did all that too. I got lost the second day of kindergarten of course, and got the word I was to follow the route home we had all agreed on. The only thing I could never figure out was how to tie my shoe laces and Mom straightened me out (I never learned right, older siblings did it for me – I still have minor problems there).
      And about using the chainsaw when I was 12….well, I did dull the chain when I dug it into the ground, but dad figured if I had been splitting firewood for 4 years I was good enough to run the Poulan.
      I used to get grounded when I forgot to go home at 5 O’Clock in the summer.
      I wonder now how much of it was that my older steps were all farm kids, an how much of it was Mom gritting her teeth, crossing her fingers and figuring it was better to screw up then instead of when I was 18 and didn’t have the gut understanding of bad decisions when I could achieve higher velocity.

      I loved Beverly Cleary, her Protagonists had lives like mine, and did things I thought were neat.

      • Yeah, I don’t remember exactly when I started cutting and selling firewood on my own, but I know it was a couple years before I was old enough to drive. I would cut, split and load a cord of wood in the pickup, then have to get my mom when she had the free time to drive me to wherever it was supposed to be delivered. Except what I sold to the neighbor across the road, he was close enough I could drive it myself without being afraid of getting caught driving with no license.

  9. “Just the number of minutes in a day when Ramona is without grownup supervision is a jolt to modern sensibilities.”

    My hubby gave himself a bath when he was 6. When he was 12 he was responsible for himself and his sisters when his parents went away for the weekend.

    Lots of kids of earlier generations had lots of adult-free time.

    • At six I walked to school on my own, washed myself, helped with the cleaning. My job when I was home was to watch my three year old sister and make sure that she didn’t wander (she had those genes). We used to play outside by ourselves. We were expected to follow rules… At twelve I was in charge of dinner, the other children (by then there was six) and the first thing I did every day was go to the chicken coop (get the eggs) and then feed the horses and rabbits. Also when I came home, I had to fill the horses trough. (Every day) So yea– I only saw the parents when they thought I was “doing something wrong.”

      • Also– the parents never asked about homework. I was expected by twelve to already know how to do it.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          By 12 the only thing my parents could help me with on homework would have been math and maybe a little history, but I certainly didn’t need help with math.

          Not that they were dumb, or anything, but by then they were 49 and 52, and it had just been way too long since anything having to do with school had been on their minds. I learned a lot of other important things from them.

          • One advantage of vintage children’s books is their depiction of prior realities. Whether the Little House books or Sterling North’s Rascal or Ramona, these books had to be credible to a highly discriminating audience. They therefore provide a marker against which we can measure how the world has changed.

      • I was the only child of old parents, and one they nearly lost when a baby, so my mother was quite a bit more overprotective than was normal at that time (plus spoiled me to some extent), but even I was allowed to visit a friend’s house alone when I was about six, and that included crossing one well traveled major highway (just one lane, though, back then) on my own and on a place where there was no pedestrian crossing. And I played alone in the forest next to our house since I was about four. And walked to school by myself too after the first couple of days – again, along a well traveled road which had nothing like cycle lanes. Several of my schoolmates cycled to that school too. When one died because he lost control of his bike just when a truck was about to pass him and he swerved in front of it, when we were a bit older, I don’t remember there being any cries for cycle lanes by the adults or anything like that (well, cycle lanes were not something normal then, there were some in larger population centers but we lived in a small town), as I remember it was treated mostly as something horrible but an accident which just do happen, not something which should not happen, ever, like accidents seem to be seen now even when they clearly are just and only accidents. And yes, I remember being left alone at home when parents had to go somewhere first times around the time when I was about six too.

        But while there are more parents now who would back then have been seen as overprotective free range kids are still seen as fairly normal here. The ages when they are allowed to do things alone seem to have gotten higher, and parents who allow their younger kids to do something alone can now end in some amount of trouble with the authorities (and get crucified by the more protective ones among other parents) if something bad does happen, but mostly parents can still let their kids do things which, as far as I understand, might invite even criminal charges in at least some parts of your country.

        • Exactly– I still think the STATE should but out in childrearing. The worst child abuse I have heard of in our NV was when a young Hispanic girl (illegal btw) escaped from a cage and a bathroom to get help. She was closer to twelve if I remember properly and she was locked in with a special needs little boy…

          Another case in CA that I heard of in the last two weeks. Firemen ran into a house to make sure all the family and pets were out. A girl was found in a cage. The family had left her there and ran out of the house when the fire started.

          Of course, they were NOT free range kids.

    • My mom went back to school when I was 12 — to nursing school, which was 8 hours a day, five days a week. A lot of the household chores, and minding my 7-year-old brother, fell on me. By the time I was 14, I had even more duties, since Dad worked midnights (for the shift differential) and Mom usually worked swings. I would get dressed in the morning, feed and milk two cows, feed chickens, rabbits and hogs, wake up my brother, get us both ready for school, then walk the half-mile to the school house (my brother rode the bus, but to the same school — all 12 grades were together). When I played sports, I’d frequently not get home until 6:30 or 7 PM. I wasn’t the only one in my school that did this.

      The one area I fell down in was homework. I HATED homework, and usually didn’t do it. I was usually too busy reading “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, biographies of the Founding Fathers, science fiction, and when I had nothing else, the encyclopedias we had. I TAUGHT the 20th century history chapter in my World History class.

      Much of the responsibility I had dropped on me was from necessity. I don’t think I ever resented it, especially since I knew at least ten other boys in my class that were doing the same thing. Life is different for all of us, but I’m glad I grew up when the world wasn’t quite as crazy as it is now. The degree of freedom we had is far more than what any sane parent would allow their children to have now.

      • I think a lot of the jobs people give their kids are just nusance jobs. My kids loved to help with the hard jobs, fencing, or sawing tree limbs and such. Clean their rooms? Surely you jest!

        • Oops, forgot to state my point. Kids want to have important roles in the family. Not do some nancy unimportant thing. IMO.

          • Yep. I just started doing stuff around mom. My punishment? They started expecting me to…

            • LOL! Yeah, that’s the way it begins… I still do quite a bit of the housework around here, especially since DW’s knees have been bothering her. Washing, dishwashing, some of the cooking, making beds, sweeping & vacuuming, cleaning up after the dogs and cats. Unfortunately, I’m not in prime health any more (some of it from things I did as a kid, most from trying the same stunts in the military, plus some), so my ability to help out is somewhat limited.