Half a Day Late…

So, this is a brief explanation of what is going on, the plans for the near future and why ALL THE THINGS ARE LATE.

Yes, I know I’m overdue on delivering Darkship Revenge, and getting Royal Blood finished and up.  I had also hoped to get the first chapter of Guardian done and approved by Liberty Con.

I’m starting to believe this won’t happen.  Any of it, though if I can get one to happen, it will be DSR delivery, because it was supposed to be done in February for sure.  Then we got the “impromptu, totally uneccessary move, due to landlord (two houses ago) being an asshat” (How do you know he’s an asshat?  Well, a) the house is not for sale yet. Reason he needed us out RIGHT THEN was that they were going to put the house for sale.  RIGHT THEN. Pah.  b) they kept ALL our deposit, claiming the cats had peed all over, and he’d have to replace the carpets.  He also claimed that the carpets were brand new when we moved in.  When we moved in the house smelled pissy, and one of the kids’ friends, who knew the landlord’s family pointed out they had very large, not even nominally house-broken dogs.  Which would explain the huge yellow stains, which we actualy removed during our stay.  Never mind.  He owns a renovation company, so I’m sure he had a “receipt” for the carpets.  Not worth a legal case, but definite ass hat.  IF Kal Spriggs and his wife hadn’t taken a hit by agreeing to not sell and renting their house in the Springs to us for three months, we’d have been in a hotel for that time.  As is, between two moves in three months, house cleaning, carpet cleaning, etc, I think all this cost us around 10k.  Hotel might have been a wash.  ONLY hotel we couldn’t have the cats, and also we didn’t know IF the sale would come through, so at least at the house the Spriggs rented us, we might have stayed, if worst came to worst house-buying wise.)

Anyway…  The problem is that “Two moves in three months” or actually “four moves in a year and a half.  My kitchen, bedroom and office are usable, if you’ve spent two years walking around packed boxes, and being used to “Oh, I still haven’t found that!)

The further problem is that we’re preparing for an absence of TWENTY DAYS.  Yeah, part of that is that five days of that is Liberty con, from which we’ll be flying (early Monday morning) straight to Portugal.  We’ll then be in Portugal about 2 weeks.

You know, the last time we stayed in Portugal more than ten days was before Robert was born.

The problem with this is that we have to have one of the kids’ friends housesit, which means making the house livable for a stranger.  I need to set up the guest bathroom, finish unpacking the kitchen, find the bed clothes for the bed, and leave the house “livable”.

You won’t believe me, probably, but this is more complex than it sounds.

Most of all, though, the problem is the distraction.  I can’t “BE” in the novel, when the back of my mind is going “I wonder if my sister in law would like one of those…” or “Make sure I don’t forget skin meds.” Or… “MY heavens, I do need a hair appointment before we GO.”

ad infinitum.

In a way this is the worst possible time for this sort of trip.  Liberty con is survivable, twenty days absence, when we’re about (over the whole house) 25% unpacked, and need to clear the area where older son will be living, so he can be unpacked and settled before the end of the year?  It’s insane.  Add in this was a short sale and we need to schedule about ten repair jobs, a couple of them urgent.  (Like the gutter issue, which is where water in basement is coming from.  Rarely, but when we have a major storm.)

We wouldn’t do this now, we wouldn’t.  In many ways we shouldn’t.  I have two major collaborations coming up (Larry and Kevin J. Anderson) and one contracted book to deliver, plus three not contracted but bespoken books.  (The dragon thing.)  And all these moves have cost me enough time.

Also, I’m DEEPLY stressed to the point I’ve unearthed the good teapot and am having afternoon tea every afternoon, because it reminds me of grandma, and makes me feel saner.

A trip to Portugal is always stressful, let alone a trip to Portugal RIGHT NOW.

BUT this is the last year in seven older son can go with us.  If younger son’s job comes through (he’s sure, but it’s a startup, and you know what that’s like) in September, this is his last summer for 5 years or so.  My parents are in their mid eighties and my dad is the only survivor of his siblings. (And he wasn’t the youngest.)

We’d have gone earlier, but house issues, and moving out of the Spriggs home so they could put it for sale, (not being the asshole-landlord we dealt with previously, they REALLY are putting it up for sale)  has made that impossible until those two weeks between Liberty con and some must do family stuff here on the 27th of July.

All of which adds up to: Yeah, we’re going.  It’s going to make everything even later, and “full upacking” (except for some pesky boxes in storage) has receded to September with luck.

I hope you guys understand and forgive both late posts, and for the subscribers what will amount to years-late physical stuff.  We didn’t plan on the last two years.

On the good side, my health is much better, despite all this and the latest autoimmune attack is finally receding.  On the bad side, being an idiot, I wondered why I always gained weight through auto-immune attacks, until younger son said “DUH, mom, steroids” which is what they give me, when half my body is raw flesh.  I hope after this I won’t have any major attacks, or I’ll look like a DDR women’s swim team member.

Oh, the “forever house” (Knowing us, I doubt it will be more than 15 years, actually, but I COULD be wrong) backs onto 300 acres of undeveloped land, and I have so far seen eagles, coyotes and wild turkeys.

Something with bright blue plumage is nesting under our (second story) porch.  Thank heavens we won’t be rebuilding that till September at the earliest.

Anyway, there will be posts here, and I’ll try to be more regular with instapundit posting too, but the occasional late/weird hours thing might happen, because I’l be in Europe.

Also, I think it’s only fair to point out that when the Hoyts travel outside the country, international incidents happen/wars break out. I’m sorry.  I don’t know why.  It is reliably true, though.

And I promise I’ll report on it at instapundit, and babble about it here.

Now I need to go install a shower curtain and call my hairdresser to see if I can get my hair done before Wednesday.

139 responses to “Half a Day Late…

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Take Care!

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      1. Take care. 2. Don’t start any world wars. 3. Don’t sweat missing or late posts on my account. 4. I hope you have a good time.

    • Robin Munn

      If I wasn’t on the other side of the world, I’d offer to come down and help with whatever I could. I know what moving is like, and it’s no fun. So the least I can do is say “Take all the time off from the blog that you need; we’ll be fine.”

      But Posner is still a moron.

  2. Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health…

  3. Yep, Portugal is a must. If the EU have their way it may be the last year there is a Portugal.
    After my many loud and obnoxious complaints over last year’s LC schedule they’ve left you mostly alone. So, we set you in a corner with the laptop. I’ll make you a poster sign Caution Writer at Work. You should be able to knock out DR and the next musk/vamp book easily.
    You must really trust whomever you have house sitting. I hope the insurance is already in place and paid for.
    I predict you shall be mostly settled in the new house no later than Christmas. Of what year is yet to be determined.
    Steroids are evil. Last time they put me on them I gained 50 pounds. Took a diuretic with potassium replacement for me to lose that weight plus 20 more.
    As for that bird:

    • Can we toss dollars at the “Writer at Work” to see if she types faster? Sort of like a wind-up toy? *ducks under desk, drags computer with*

      My sympathies on the travel schedule. I have a massive dental thing (part one of two) scheduled for July 14th. I suspect it will knock me out of the writing loop for several days.

    • Oh, yeah, I need to get potassium. I shed it anyway (genetic weirdness) and I’m now getting dangerously low. Sigh.

      • Hmm… if you and my wife could work out some sort of Potassium sharing… she was recently highly miffed that she was told to forego bananas because hers was too high.

        • I’m ALWAYS low. All other minerals too. Kids have the same issue. I’d guess it’s a result of living by the sea, in a place that mostly salted foods? the ones who shed minerals lived.

        • Robin Munn

          I believe the danger of potassium isn’t so much having too much in absolute terms, as it is getting your potassium / sodium balance out of whack. I’m not a doctor, so take this with a grain of NaCl — but perhaps instead of cutting out bananas, she might be able to simply eat more salt to counterbalance her high potassium levels. Something to ask your doctor about.

          But Posner is still a moron.

      • IANAWitch, but isn’t dandylion tea the thing you want for potassium? Usually in with the herbal teas, organic and yada yada.

        • Is it? I’ve never ha dandelion tea. I start having really bad long-muscle cramps, though, when the potassium is getting critically low, and have been having that for about a month.

          • Enough potassium and magnesium to get warnings about being able to poison yourself.


            • The Greens are good for you too. From FoodFacts – What Are Dandelion Greens Good For?:

              When your grandmother said dandelion greens were good for you, she wasn’t kidding.

              Folk medicine claims the dandelion plant is a powerful healer, used to purify the blood, settle digestion and prevent piles and gall stones, among other maladies. The fact is the greens of the humble dandelion provide 535 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, which may be the most important source of any other plant-based food to strengthen bones, but may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease by limiting neuron damage in the brain.

              Dandelion greens also give the body 112 percent of the daily minimum requirement of vitamin A as an antioxidant carotenoid, which is particularly good for the skin, mucus membranes and vision. A flavonoid called zeaxanthin protects the retina from UV rays, while others, primarily carotene, lutein, and cryptoxanthin, protect the body from lung and mouth cancers.

              Need more benefits? Dandelion greens are high in fiber, which helps your body shed waste. These greens also contain vitamins C and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron (crucial for generating red blood cells), potassium (to help regulate heart rate and blood pressure), and manganese. Other nutrients present in dandelion greens include folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.

          • Oh, my, I’ve been having cramps in the back of my thighs when I bend them too much, and a couple of weeks ago, I fell out of bed because I got a cramp while trying to keep myself from falling (no harm done, except for waking everyone up with a combination of swearing and making pain sounds – “Ow, fuck! Ow, fuck! Ow, fuck!…” ).

      • I presume you know about “Lite” salt, which is half potassium chloride? Or used to be last time I looked. It cuts down on sodium, which is the usual reason for saying too much salt. Some people actually have too much potassium, so they have to avoid lite salt and bananas, but that’s fairly rare in my experience. But if you have to cut down on salt and have a potassium shortage, sometimes problems tend to solve each other.

        Hang in there. You’ll get through it, and things work out.

    • Oh, I think there’ll be a Portugal for at least 3-4 more years. It’ll take that long to get the German *ahem* Euro army going to the level where they can crush the slave revolts in Portugal and Greece.

  4. Fifty cents short?

    Just take care of yourself, we’ll be fine. 😀 Hope things will settle down once you’re back.

  5. sabrinachase

    Steroids, like fire, are a dangerous servant and a fearful master. I’ve had my own run-ins with large doses, medically necessary, and it was … bad. As in near-assault bad. I do whatever I have to now to NOT take steroids ever again.

    And as for the strange attractors/forces of Chaos/horsemen of the Apocalypse that follow Clan Hoyt in their perambulations, please remember the orbital strike platforms haven’t been dialed-in yet. We might be a *tectch* off in the aiming and beam spread, so call in before the armies get too close to your position, OK?

    • Oh yes. You cannot tell me that ” ‘roid rage” is not a serious thing. I was really strange for the few weeks I was on the things.

      • weirdly, it didn’t change ME that much, but my books became more… yeah.

        • sabrinachase

          What scared me the most was there was no thought involved. The speed at which I moved was…instinct level. It literally was like someone else was in control of my body. I don’t know who was more shocked, me, or the guy dangling off the end of my arm. (It’s not that he didn’t *deserve* to get punched, mind you. It’s just that I usually have much, much better self-control.)

          • thephantom182

            So now you know what being Scots is like. ~:)

            • And Irish. Saw my predominately Irish grandfather, his leg in traction after hip surgery, go from his hands behind his head to balled fist when the doctor stroked the bottom of his foot.

        • Know a doctor who has all sorts of prednisone stories.One was a patient who suddenly bought a car they could not afford.

    • It’s unlikely to be an issue for anyone with a non-military doctor who sticks to perscriptions, but steroids can also induce a heart attack.

      Good friend of mine. Thank God it happened when we were in port in Oki, and he was in the steak house on base– the responding (walking fridge) medic looked at the steroid prescription in the (120 pounds of bone and tendon) buddy’s pocket and started cussing because it was more than twice what the huge guy could use.
      Unfortunately, the base doctor was a buddy of the doctor on ship who’d done it, so it was recorded as a “panic attack.”
      Nobody’s medical record came out clean from that place.

  6. Yep prednisone (steriods) is the drug we love to hate– because it does its job with a lot of side effects. Hugs– just go … It’s been a rough couple years for everyone… family and health first.

  7. {hugs} Do what you have to. Family comes first then work. Then comes stuff for us. We’ll be fine.

  8. I can imagine the chaos. We just went a few days without a washing machine and my wife hasn’t caught up yet; thankfully, it was just before I got paid for some contract work so we went to Lowe’s and bought the (almost?) biggest one they had.

    Enjoy your trips; come by the house and pick up a kitten on your way to see your folks (or the way back would be better).

    • I wish — on the kitten. But husband says we’re at maximum. Way back it’s frankfurt to CO. I don’t think you live in CO?

      • Nope; I’ve got a second cousin once removed out there.

      • Atlanta to the EU. EU to Denver. Travelling with two large swarthy military age men and their older handler.
        Yep, that’ll put you on someone’s list for sure.

      • The Frankfurt-Denver flight is a nice one. Usually what we would wind up on coming from Central Asia (except for the unfortunate foray to Heathrow–luckily the departing plane was late). The Lufthansa flight crew is rather strategic about deploying the mid-flight fasten seat belt light to calm the huddled masses when the noise and milling about get to be too much.

  9. About fifteen years ago I had a landlady tell me on June 28th that she was going to have to give me 30 days notice to move, end of July, because she was going through a bankruptcy and needed to sell the house. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to be in Seattle for six weeks of training leaving July 5th. It actually was probably one of the better moves I ever did, though. I just went immediately, that night, and signed a lease, and then packed around the clock for 5 days. Called a few friends, rented a uhaul, moved my stuff, took a shower, headed for the airport. Shortest DFW-Seattle flight ever.

  10. Reality Observer

    Don’t know if this is the order you list them in, but…

    Paying work comes before unpaid work.
    Family comes before any work.
    Health comes before anything else.

    On days you don’t show up here, I’m disappointed. But coming by here has to be your lowest priority! (Well, except every few days to let us know you’re still among us, if only a “Hi!” as an aside while juggling – we do worry at overlong absences.)

    Besides, this place does have a life of its own, I swear. Just give this bunch a placeholder, and they’ll fill it all by themselves.

  11. Every time husband has had to be in hospital (appendectomy, heart bypass, etc etc) an international incident (invasion of Panama, Berlin Wall, Brexit, etc etc) has happened. Makes us all nervous when he has to be hospitalized over and above health issues. Hope your trip is smooth and NOTHING happens that is not pleasant. (Didn’t realize there is someone else who can affect international politics just by being sick)…Have a good time.

    • Whereas when we travel, we get shooters.

      Don’t look at me like that! We nearly quit traveling entirely after Trolley Square Mall (we weren’t there, but we had intended to be, at the Brazilian restaurant, except the kids were tired and cranky so we said we’ll go tomorrow instead and ordered in pizza). Anyway, the last time we went out of town was SLC Comiccon.

  12. PS Just realized Bangladash and you haven’t even started your trip yet!!!

  13. adventuresfantastic

    Hang in there and safe travels. I hope your visit home is enjoyable beyond what you can imagine.

  14. Don’t sweat starting international conniptions – there’s always something about ready to start, anyway – just stay out of the middle of ’em, OK?
    Hope you enjoy the whole trip.

  15. Clearly in a future novel, some evil, nasty, scum of the earth character needs the same name as the *sshole landlord. Make sure it is a painful and meaningless death. Naturally, in a work of fiction, any similarity to persons, living or dead, is a mere coincidence.

  16. Half a day late is all right, so long as you aren’t half a dollar short.

  17. Take care! And I hope your travel is free of incidents.

  18. Stop fussing about us. It’ll take more than a month of neglect for us to stop checking back to see if you’ve posted pictures. 😉 Enjoy both trips.

    • Again, not for a week, yet.

    • Reality Observer

      Guys, stop “bon voyaging” at Sarah. I think she’s getting suspicious of that big truck pulled up out front…

      • TINS: I was setting up explosive effects for the CAF at [edited] back in [redacted]. The Blues were the jet demo team, and the Navy guys were being a “wee bit” snippy about things. And then they drove their box marker into the middle of the blast field! It was . . . a yellow Ryder rent-a-truck. Soon surrounded by EOD people grinning like maniacs as the master blaster tapped on the window and inquired where we should cap in.* It took the poor kid about a minute to catch the first joke, less minutes for the second one, and the truck disappeared until we finished setting up and then briefed the ground crew about what, when, and where.

        Yes, the jokes that afternoon about OKC and the federal building were as tasteless as you’d expect.
        *To cap in: to place the detonator into the explosive material prior to making the field “hot” and then setting off the charge.

  19. … international incidents happen/wars break out.

    Trips with The Daughter not involving the visit to any relative — at first I thought we were some kind of a jinx. First one, we awoke to find Gorbachev had been seized in a military coup. Then there was the one where we were staying just outside the Navel base in Norfolk, which coincided the Oklahoma City bombing. I decided things were looking up when we woke up in Williamsburg to discover that it was only that George Harrison had died.

  20. We didn’t plan on the last two years.

    Dear esteemed hostess, may this be the start of two years (and more) the equally unexpected, but in all sorts of right, enjoyable and prosperous ways.

  21. Just make sure the Hoyts are okay. We’ll do our best to keep enough pieces of flag hidden securely.

  22. Oh, the “forever house” (Knowing us, I doubt it will be more than 15 years, actually, but I COULD be wrong) backs onto 300 acres of undeveloped land, and I have so far seen eagles, coyotes and wild turkeys.

    Something with bright blue plumage is nesting under our (second story) porch.

    So I look it up on the web – ‘Colorado, bird with blue plumage’. Wiki starts:

    The official state list of birds seen in the U.S. state of Colorado includes 499 species. based on the checklist of Colorado Field Ornithologists.

    I am afraid I can be of no help in identifying your boarder. A number of the birds listed have some blue plumage, including multiple kinds of Jays and three different bluebirds. Many of those birds are quite lovely … Anyway the setting sounds quite lovely. I do think I am a little jealous.

  23. thephantom182

    I have enough trouble writing when there’s nothing going on. While moving? Fergit it.

  24. Christopher M. Chupik

    Hope things work out soon. Just know that you’re not alone in having a lousy time of things right now. Hang in there.

  25. Could be worse could be raining.

  26. I seem to recall that Mr. Heinlein had Blue Jays when he lived at 1776 Mesa. Real jays, crested, not the California Jays with smooth heads sometimes called Scrub Jays which I think is demeaning a noble bird; that’s what we have here in Los Angeles, and crested jays stay up in the mountains along with robins, which are plentiful a few thousand feet higher but are never seen here at 700 feet or so.

    We don’t have blue birds either, and we didn’t have them in Tennessee where I grew up, so I wouldn’t know about those; but I’m fairly sure Ginny talked about a family of jays outside. They had Scrub Jays in Bonny Doon.

    • It looks like a blue jay to me, Jerry, yes. I was distraught when I thought we’d be rebuilding the porch halfway through July. BUT with the Portuguese trip, there just is no way, so… September the fledgelings should be out and about.

      • Smaller than a crow, size of blackbird or so, blue-backed, black banded eyes, and obnoxious?

          • Anonymous Coward

            When you rebuild the porch, be sure to make it inhospitable to future nest building. Blue jays are unusual in that they form multi-generational ‘clans’ that occupy a small home range. At least this is the case from the East coast to the eastern half of Colorado. Unlike most common birds who wander widely in search of food, the blue jays in your yard are quite likely to be the same ones you saw last year (or their offspring, nephews, etc).
            The fact that they have small ranges is why corvids (jays, crows, ravens, etc) are used to test for mosquito-born diseases like West Nile and Zika.

  27. FlyingMike

    I know this was not the point, but Sarah’s post reminded me, so…Tip Jar Hit.

    • Uh… thank you Mike. I feel terrible for not having given stuff to subscribers as is, but thank you.

      • Given nothing? You call giving us a place op hang out, talk SF/F, Politics, Culture and writing nothing?

        As for subscribers … I don’t think any of us subscribed for the tchotchkes or swag. We subscribe for the enjoyment of supporting your writing, underwriting the WP expenses and the delight we derive from knowing we’re making you feel guilty. You start sending out that stuff and you deny us our guilty pleasure.

        • FlyingMike

          What RES said. And you are most welcome.

          This establishment is here thanks to you, and when I was out of work this place, and the virtual community you’ve drawn together, helped maintain my sanity. Now that I’m working and am able to do so, it’s the least I can do to help out.

        • There were tchotchkes?! Seriously, ask L.C. If he’s made any profit on MHI unit coins and if so how to do them… Maybe that would help pay the new mortgage or buy a few meals at the diner at least.


        • Heh. I keep forgetting it’s there, about five minutes after seeing the PayPal notice every month. 🙂

  28. C4C

    But Posner is still a moron.

  29. Steroids are a gift of the gods, but the side-effects increase with the duration of use. The fluid accumulation is obvious but the bone softening and metabolic derangements do the real damage. For long term therapy for “autoimmune disorders” there are far better medications, both “small molecule” (drugs) and the newer “biologics” (such as Enbrel, and quite a few others). She, who stole my heart with her eyes, has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She reacted badly to the older drugs, but is doing quite well with a biologic. Over some decades she has found that a “taste” of a steroid can interrupt the occasional flare. They are a gift of the gods, but find a good rheumatologist.

    Potassium is another gift, but it requires some skill and attention to detail. I have had cramps and muscle spasms all my life. They hurt, a lot. I tried a number of things until I found potassium. I will not mention the amount of potassium that I take every day, but every new physician that I have interacted with starts the conversation with something along the lines of, “Oh, My God!”. My serum potassium levels always come back from the lab as “low-normal”. (Yep. I am the guy making up the tail of the curve.) And then came the diuretics…

    The “trick” with potassium is that it is a “short acting drug”. Kidneys and sweat glands quickly eliminate the surge in potassium blood levels from a single dose. Therefore I carry a container of potassium pills and take a dose every three hours or so, adjusting for sweat loss and physical activity. If I get careless, the muscle aches usually remind me to find the container. The multiple doses are inconvenient but they maintain my potassium at a useful level and avoid any very high peak levels which can be upsetting or even dangerous. I don’t think that I could eat enough bananas to accomplish what the tablets do.

    If you are fastidious and have access to relevant resources, you might try a time course study of your response to potassium. Get a potassium blood level, take a “reasonable” dose of potassium and then get potassium blood levels at , say, 1, 2 ,and 3 hours. I have never had a physician suggest such a thing, but who knows? For all I know, that generic data is in some textbook somewhere and/or there may be a sustained release potassium tablet available. Whatever, start low….

    Good luck.

    • I have eczema/asthma/arthritis. The eczema is near-life threatening, usually about 1 time every couple of years, most of the time just boils at low-level annoyance (since I was one.) Mind you what I consider low-level annoyance other people say “how can you live with that.” BUT I’ve had it since I was one. This is my life.
      I have had more steroids in the last year than the 10 years before. BUT hopefully with the end to the endless moves, it will balance. And next year they’re supposed to have a “protein disruptor” on the market that will stop the attacks.

      • Yikes. Reminds me of my sisters remarks years ago about heart patients’ tolerance for pain. Niece had a coronary artery sort of fabricated from an arm artery while a baby to replace one that descended from the pulmonary artery instead of her aorta (basically one of those sorta small miracle things); at two or three she broke her humorous and my sister didn’t know for a day or two until she grabbed her by the arm.

  30. C4C

  31. So… riffing ironically on the tone of this post would NOT be a good thing…?

  32. “I hope after this I won’t have any major attacks, or I’ll look like a DDR women’s swim team member.”

    Just tell them you’ve decided to become a transgender “white Mormon male”, and why are they transphobic? 😎

    Just wear eye protection when the heads start exploding…..

  33. Um, so, where is the list of who’s bringing what side dishes for the BBQ? I don’t want to accidentally repeat the Great Potato Salad Deluge of ’05. Is anyone else bringing black-beans-n-rice (aka Christianos y Morros)?

  34. BobtheRegisterredFool

    For those who can’t stomach the Green Party enough to vote Stein, or the Libertarian Party enough to vote Johnson, it may still be possible to get the Constitution Party (Castle/Bradley) on the ballot in your state.