When Things Go Wrong


Yes, I now, this is a weird post to be writing the week I won the Dragon.  But other than that win — and it’s not QUITE real yet — it was a profoundly sh*tty weekend.  We were away to write, and I got semi-ill (long story) and couldn’t sleep and therefore didn’t write much.  I did jog the novel out of a flat spot, but honestly, 5k words all weekend sucks. And I’m not even sure what I wrote is useable.  I just know it’s a path out of the place I was in that wasn’t working.  Even if I end up re-writing it.

Meanwhile the wave of weird breakages, both electronic and mechanical continues.  Which is weird by itself.

It’s not the first time in our lives things don’t work as we planned.  Of course it isn’t.

All of traditional publishing is an exercise in things going not as planned.  I fact, there was no relation between how much work I put into something and how it did.  Well, that might be all of publishing.  I have several indie friends who tell me that the books that sell best are not the ones they thought would/worked most at/like best.  It was just more so in trad, because no matter how much heart and soul you put into a book, if it doesn’t get enough of a print run/isn’t available/doesn’t get to the shelf (and that’s not even JUST publisher malfeasance.  The entire system of distribution had a lot of fail points.) And there’s nothing an author can do.

We’ve had other weekends before too, where we were supposed to JUST write, but that didn’t happen, or almost didn’t happen, including but not limited to when an old friend was taken to the hospital and tried to die during one of those. (When not on phone for news, we mostly slept, that one.)

In fact, we’ve found there are some hotels so deeply associated with family holidays and fun that I can’t work while at them.  All I want to do is go to the zoo, go for walks, and generally goof off.

There is ONE hotel in the Denver area (so far) which is JUST for writing weekends and so has a higher success rate. But even that isn’t infallible

And then there are all the other plans.  I swear we gave up on staycations, because if we plan a week at home, going out to eat and not doing anything we don’t want to it never fails that we have a disaster or three that forces us to do mostly unpleasant things for a week.

And yet, we still plan.  We have to. If we didn’t plan, I’d never get anything done.

This year has been a year of plans: short range, long range and incidental blowing apart in our faces.

Which makes the year very difficult.

But since the world insists on not playing along with what I want and not behaving the way I like, there’s nothing I can do but dust myself off, pick myself up, and try again.

And sometimes, yes, the unplanned is good, like the Dragon (and before that the Prometheus for Darkship Thieves.)

So pardon me for this very late and weird post, while I dust mysel foff and get back to work.

116 thoughts on “When Things Go Wrong

      1. A way of making more sense of what He does was offered on a radio show I listen to– the caller wanted to know why God would reward us (even if it’s just saying “good job”) for doing His work, when He doesn’t need us.

        The guy used the example of the adorable little three year old that is out helping daddy do something. Yeah, daddy could do it better himself, definitely faster– but you encourage it anyways, because it’s good for the kid, and they’re trying to do good.

        So I figure the “Himself must be laughing” stuff is also similar to when I start laughing because my daughter is absolutely devastated because…oh… the sun isn’t green. Or the chip that she is eating broke. Or something else that if she knew and understood what was going on, she wouldn’t be upset about.

        1. Oh yes. Or like the time I needed to figure out how to start taking my kids to church, and I got downsized from my Sunday morning job. Definite sense of humor showing, there.

        2. I thought my boy was the only one who insisted that the Sun should be Green. (and the world should not be. The world should, apparently be blue.)

      2. I long ago came to the conclusion that if there is any kind of deity running things, it’s some incarnation of Coyote.

    1. Life is God’s training ground for all of us.
      The real question is what in HIS name does HE have planned for us that requires us to learn all and endure all this crap?
      All I can say is it’s got to be easier than this because smart people always make the training tougher.

    2. Lesson learned long ago: Among many other things, never, EVER pray for patience…because God’s interpretation of it is “Oh, you want to practice being patient? Sure thing! Have stuff that will try your patience hugely.”

  1. You have a plan so you have direction. Which means they’re always subject to change. Something will come from this weekend that you didn’t expect, I’m sure. Hopefully something good.

    1. No plan ever survives engagement … life. Be prepared. OODA loop – observe, orient, decide and act. 

    2. I have a good friend who must always have a detailed plan from which she shall deviate. She fully acknowledges that her plan won’t survive contact with reality, but she needs to have it anyway.

      1. See, I need a plan that doesn’t have any details UNLESS they are something that shouldn’t be deviated from. If they’re to be deviated from, they’re ideas, but I plan “Hit X and Y time with Z,” and they don’t show up because of butterflies, I’m going to be pissed.

      2. I like having a plan. Not necessarily super detailed but an idea of what I want to happen. Makes it easier to keep the end in mind so I don’t get thrown off too badly when thing go awry.

  2. Alas, the past few weeks have for me been much the same. The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley. I wish it wasn’t so far agley! Planned to do roofing this weekend. Found my parents had not left the area and family I have not seen in a year were up for the weekend. I spent Saturday there. Sunday dodging rain showers (not bothering to climb onto the roof) and yesterday doing Saturday’s work.
    This morning I find water running through the light/vent/heater via a new leak in a spot I have had no issues with . . . until now.
    I have to tarp it tonight as we are supposed to get even harder rain this evening.

    Good Luck, Milady and congratulations on the Dragon. I am rereading it in celebration.

  3. “The syllabus never survives the first contact with the classroom.” And all the teachers in the room nodded as one, because the instructor knew that we knew that all the magnificent plans and detailed lists of objectives and assignments that meet all the Essential Elements listed by both the AP committee and Texas Department of Ed… won’t last a heartbeat once the class bell rings.

      1. Ooh.

        I had one teacher in high school who, in addition to a number of other interesting and excellent qualities, provided one of the most detailed syllabuses I have ever seen and was the only one who stuck to it.

        I think it had been experimentally refined to include time for extra explanations, explorations, and excursions. It was a thing of wonder.

  4. We spent the weekend away and it was great. I was worried that it wouldn’t be, that my husband and I would get our signals crossed on expectations and get grumpy (because that’s never happened before.) But it was low key and nice and no one got grumpy. Success!

    The hotel was inexpensive but very nice, I thought. I’d stay there again. But I wouldn’t try to write there. The table was too high and the chairs were too low. The “office” chair adjusted so would have been high enough to use but my feet would be swinging. The table by the sofa was too narrow to get both knees under, though it was closer to a usable height. I hadn’t intended to write but had it in mind so was paying attention. If I ever do try to “go away” to write, I’ll have a better idea of what to check.

    1. One reason I favored a particular B&B near Texas Tech over the less expensive hotels was that the rooms had writing desks. I could transcribe material or write things for extended periods without hurting myself.

      1. One of the nice things about a business class hotel is a place to work. Unfortunately they’re often to expensive to go to when not at work. There are specials sometimes.

        1. Not a concern of mine. Alcohol and I get along about as well as sodium and water, just not as entertainingly for the people watching.

        2. Not any more, it isn’t. There was a vote at least 8 yrs ago, and now there are liquor stores everywhere.

      1. I lasted about a week at my folks’ before I started swapping out their lightbulbs (mostly the piggy tails) with high watt LED bulbs.

        I like blue-as-you-can-get-without-a-colored-bulb light, I know a lot of folks prefer daylight/warm light, the “warmer” far opposite end, but either way twenty bucks worth of 100watt bulbs should probably start living in your ditty bag.

        It is AMAZING how much bigger and brighter it makes a room.

        (I hit costco and get them for major cheap, but even at Home Depot they’re like $7 a bulb.)

        And the cool thing is they are plastic, they don’t shatter like glass.

        1. Last summer I made a trip to Home Depot in Colorado Springs and Killeen and replaced every bulb I could in 2 of my son’s homes with the 100W equivalent LED Daylight bulb. Checked wattage of the older 60W equivalent bulbs also. 16 or 18 watts for most of them down to 14 watts for much better light.

          1. Newer houses can probably use the 60s, but my folks’ place is a “they wired it 30 years after it was built” type– so one bulb was ‘enough’ for every room, by their thinking. It beat candles.

            It was fine when I was growing up, but DANG, no wonder the winter blues hit so hard!

      2. > DARK

        I know. I’ve been in more than one where I felt they should have offered a flashlight so I could find my room.

        Maybe their decorator figured hotels were for sleeping, and was trying to be helpful. Mostly they made me feel like I was trapped in some bad noir movie.

        Still, light can banish darkness. There have been at least two hotels I couldn’t even get into, not having brought a gas mask with me. Apparently the chemical-factory-disaster odor was new carpet, exuberantly outgassing whatever nastiness it was made of. I’m backing out, eyes and nose streaming, and nobody else saw anything past “oh, new carpet!”

        1. Chemical outgassing from new carpet is not to be pooh-poohed, especially for anyone with chemical sensitivities. This year at GenCon, Mercedes Lackey got badly ill because she was put in a newly renovated hotel room and all the chemical outgassing exacerbated some kind of allergy.

    2. Plans that go awry make the ones that do come together more precious. I’ll skip the Gollum voice for that last word. 🙂

      The major plan for the summer didn’t happen. The one part of the solar system that I can’t do myself is the ground mount, and the two landscape contractors I talked to either were A: too busy to do the smallish job far from their center, or B: weren’t willing to call me back. Contractor B did ground mounts for the ranchers, so I know it’s doable, but finding anybody who isn’t overwhelmed with work is tough-to-impossible.

      The minor goal (painting the house) is finally almost done. We finally got a period where a) I didn’t have doctor’s appointments, and b) it wasn’t too freaking hot, and c) the air wasn’t corrosive. So, I’ve brushed the trim that’s going to be done (fascia boards wait a year), and we rolled three sides of the house. I did the preliminary brushing for the front, and should be able to finish tomorrow. So long as the air quality is tolerable, I’m good. After this summer, I’ll set a low bar for tolerable, too.

      1. Tentatively, Contractor A is a possible for spring. Arggh! (Those post holes are going to be hell–large and deep. I think there’s one place that can subcontract it, but I’m not sure. If it’s too tough, it’s back to the engineers for plans that can be done with a backhoe.)

        Oh yeah, I thought I could get an ablation treatment for my atrial fibrillation, but the cardiologist says it’s way too late for that. He thinks I’ll need a pacemaker some year. Not yet, and maybe not for a long time.

      2. “A: too busy to do the smallish job far from their center, or B: weren’t willing to call me back.”

        Ran into that last summer with tree contractors. Winter before last our area got hit with a Major Ice Store (caps intended) called a “Silver Thaw” (freezing when the pineapple express, lots of rain, comes through but not warm enough to over come freeze**). Not unheard of in our area, just very infrequent (Willamette Valley, just does not normally get that cold). Tree people were very, very, busy.

        We had 2 very large 35 year old Giant Sequioa’s in the front yard. Contacted 8 tree contractors in our area (every one that had a web presence & a couple that didn’t). Three of the 8 didn’t bother to respond at all. Four responded with thank you, but no thanks. One responded with an expensive quote, but also said trees weren’t compromised & didn’t have to be done immediately, good because they couldn’t schedule anytime soon. The last one had a more reasonable quote (40% of the other quote) and could schedule us in a month.

        In the end we did get the trees removed. Good thing we did because, while true the trees were not going to fall down anytime soon (which is good because they were 8′ diameter(*), each, 6′ up from the grass, & 10′ x 10′ diameters, each, at grass level, which was still 2′ from actual ground level), the next minor ice or strong wind storm, would have taken out the top 15′. Between the two trees that was 7 tops of 15′ of tree with 30″ bases, & no control of where or when they would have come down; note this is wood that when it hits the ground shatters sending projectiles everywhere. The tops were no longer protected after the ice storm took out the branches below them. That wasn’t the only thing that was found when the trees came down but the rest hadn’t compromised the trees yet.

        ** Last time this happened, 1969, the area got 43″ of snow.
        (*) Notice diameter not DBH, which would have been bigger. Was measured after trees came down.

        1. A neighbor down the street had to get an ill-considered coast redwood removed from their front yard (ill-considered because the folks who planted it didn’t stop to think that a redwood is a bad idea in a suburban setting, and yes, the foundation was being undermined.) They couldn’t find anyone to *use* it, unfortunately—I know a reclamation miller in the area now, but I didn’t then. Did someone make use of that wood, or was it just cut up for firewood?

          1. Technically the house location was ill considered. A developer 45 years ago (add 10 years, missed type as 35) went around the area & planted Sequoia’s & Redwoods all over Eugene). So technically the trees were there before the house. House foundation hadn’t been compromised, yet; but a matter of time.

            Ice storm brought down a LOT of branches. Branches that were up to 18″ in diameter & heavy. We were lucky. Nothing landed on the roof or directly on the house. A couple did hit the ground & bounce into the house shaking it up. The branches filled the yard 6′ deep & were extremely heavy. Branches didn’t shatter when they came down. Dense & heavy. Got loaded & taken to the local yard recycler.

            Part of the reason we got a good deal from the tree guy was because he worked a deal between himself, a self loader, & someone with a portable mill, for the bottom 45′; which the self loader had to remove in 4 different pieces, they were that heavy. They all had different projects they wanted the wood for. Plus the bottom 6′ between the logs & where the stump grinding was started, was chunked into large blocks to hopefully sell to a local wood carver. Don’t know if the wood has been used or not. There was not one agency, individual or company, that were willing to take or buy the wood. Beautiful wood if it doesn’t shatter. The two 45′ pieces that came down didn’t shatter because the top & branches were used to cushion their fall.

            Branches & top 20′, which shattered on impact, were chipped & carted off to recycle. Stump grindings were left in place. Won’t need bark dust for a few years, neither will the neighbors who took advantage of the free chips.

            Two days, cost $4000 and all the wood for both trees & stump grinding. The other quote: $10,000 with stump grinding, & wood was 100% ground up. Lower cost was great (don’t get me wrong), but actually using the wood! Win.

            Oh, yes. Entertainment for day care across the street … priceless.

              1. Yes.

                Direct line of sight from N. sidewalk of Irving Elementary. We’ve been here 30 years come Thanksgiving weekend.

                My childhood home is a mile S/E of here. Built & moved into 55 years ago this December. FYI. That house does NOT have the Sequoias or Redwoods. The last Oregon Ash however, bit the dust (so to speak) this last spring (with help).

                  1. Yes. 1/3 of the east end of the street is actually in 4J & goes to Spring Creek; or would if there were any kids living on that end. Walk the dog by it all the time.

  5. My wife goes south for the winter (I’m not retired yet). Kids are grown, I have the house to myself when I get home from work. There’s a mother-in-law apartment downstairs. I have high-speed internet. When you and husband arrive, I’ll take your cell phones upstairs with me to minimize distractions. Leave the key on the kitchen table when you go. The cost: mention my name in the dedication “with grateful thanks to . . . .”

    Bet I’m not the only one willing to extend an offer. Think about it.

  6. I had a weekend where timing on everything went well and we had good luck. And now I’m sitting around waiting for the universe to balance the books.

    1. My daddy had a saying about weekends; I don’t think I can Bowlderize it sufficiently and maintain the meaning (here goes nothing): 24 hours of flat tires and 24 hours of sex.

      1. “Everything must’ve gone really well.”
        “It did.”
        “So I’m listening for that ticking sound so I can try move away from it.”

      2. I fear good times, because the universe demands three times restitution for any joy I seem to get. Get a girlfriend? She breaks up with me, it’s a bad breakup, and one of her friends tells me about her recent positive herpes test.

        (Still negative, thank God.)

        Promotion at the job? Oh, joy, now I’m in the firing like for one employee that just won’t go away, and issues that are so far outside of my responsibility are now the problems I have to solve.

  7. My better half stopped making plans shortly after we got married. First lesson was when we were doing M-F local ops for a few weeks. Left one Monday and told her I’d see her Friday. 2 Friday’s later I called her from Hawaii. We heard a noise in the ocean and there was no one else available to follow it. I think that was the week the base changed the parking lot most of us parked at to overnight parking only. Many of us came back to find tickets on our windshields.

    The other time was dinner plans. Something happened just at liberty call when we had dinner reservations. Called and told her to delay- twice, then cancel. When I walked in the door sometime after midnight she sat bolt upright before I was a full step in and yelled- “Don’t come near me until you’ve taken a shower! The smell, not the noise, woke her up. Everyone in the division smelled pretty much the same.

      1. Well, at least squids in the ocean makes sense. Strangest thing I saw in Saudi was when a couple of sonar men walked past our location. When I asked a co-worker what the he(ck) a couple of Navy sonar men were doing in the middle of the da(rned) desert, he replied, “Sea Air, and . . .”.

        The desert heat must have gotten to my brain. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      1. Based on my idea file, if I keep writing at a particularly optimistic pace, I’m booked until 2022. The muse should really find some other writer and send the ideas her way.

          1. I’m down to seventeen. Well, plus three dozen barely formed ideas, but this is about the first time I’ve gotten the “will be written within two years” list down so low.

  8. Because you don’t have enough to do, I’d think you’d want an award winning novel in your sidebar of books on your site 😉

          1. I’ve been saying that since 2015 and a half. I’m afraid to, because, well, WordPress. I have a vision of hitting “change style” and the whole thing gets converted to Old Church Slavonic in white on a black and red plaid background or something equally readable.

  9. My condolences. I also had a particularly “interesting” weekend, where not only did the baby get sick, but a convoluted real-life game of telephone led to my in-laws getting a false message at 2 in the morning that their graddaughter was in the hospital. Had to put out the panicked fires all around.

  10. I know the feeling all too well. Lately I plan for things to go wrong. Fortunately, I am sometimes disappointed.

  11. Patches looked around the corner. No, the transporter wasn’t down that alley either. It had seemed like such an adventure, several hours ago, to hop out and explore this bright new world. So many exciting smells! Such tasty little nibbles! Then the sky had clouded over and it started to drizzle. Who knew? Of course she hadn’t thought to bring an environment suit…or even a collar com. Now her fur was spiky wet and her paws were sore from the endless stone pavement. Surely the light was getting dimmer. It was past time to start making a plan.

    (Ahem. Sorry. That muse is strong.)

    1. Yes, more please.

      Ah, cruel Three!  In such an hour
      Beneath such dreamy weather,
      To beg a tale of breath to weak
      To stir the tiniest feather!
      Yet what can one poor voice avail
      Against three tongues together?

      From the opening poem from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 

    1. One of the sorriest things in the world is a wet cat.

      Momma, who was very much a dog whisperer did not like cats, yet she was the one who brought home our first cat. I was an active toddler and she was taking me for a walk on an autumn day after a sudden series of thunder storms had kept us housebound. We came upon this abandoned kitten sopping wet in a puddle. She just could not bear leaving the poor pitiful thing to its fate.

  12. “Man proposes; God disposes.” Son married wonderful girl 11 years younger. I had son later in life; girl’s mother had her very early. I could have been mother’s grandmother. I was so pleased that any future grandchildren would have a young grandma to play with (me being too old). She unfortunately died at 48 while daughter-in-law was pregnant with 2nd granddaughter, and now their only grandma is closing in on 80 rapidly. I don’t know what the moral of this all is, but I think about it from time to time.

    BTW, everyone in family avidly reads everything, including SF. Congratulations Sarah. Will have fun introducing granddaughters to all your books when they are a little bit older.

    1. My grandparents were older when my parents were born, in turn they were older when I was born (I was born in 1964, both sets of grandparents were born before 1900). I only met one grandparent, and he died when I was four. It’s kind of a sad state of affairs, but it’s not a tragedy.

      1. I grew up with both sets of grandparents, a great-grandma and a couple great aunts – who I knew.  It was a strange family as I was the only surviving child of two only surviving children.  Family gatherings were upside down compared to most people’s, Momma was the closest in age to me. 

        I was in college when Daddy’s grandmother and mother died within six months of each other.  His mother died two weeks after I met The Spouse.  When The Daughter was born we had been married nearly a decade and my three remaining grandparents and the great aunts were still alive.  She even got to know my Daddy’s father who lived well into his nineties.  Now only Daddy remains of the prior generations.

        1. My husband’s family is young– my kids have met BOTH of their great grandmothers on that side!

          My stubborn Scottish grandmother held on long enough to meet the Princess, who was barely at the “I can roll over– HOLY CRUD!” stage for her memorial. She waited a decade longer than anybody else…..

          1. My parents got to see several great-grandchildren, but through my brother and sister, not me. Dad had just turned 70 when eldest (Chris) was born, mom was 65. Their first great-grandchild was born about 10 years later.

            1. My grandparents lived 4 months past the birth of their first great-great-grandchild. Didn’t get to meet the baby. Grandparents couldn’t travel by then. Nobody with a right mind would take a baby (or small child, period) to their house (I have related before how bad it was, no, not an option).

              My son is the same age & older than some of MY cousins. His great-Uncles are my age.

              Used to get a kick out of saying “meeting grandma & grandpa at campground.” Someone would respond “Oh, you still camp with your folks.” Us. “Yes. But wrong grandparents. Meant great-grandparents.” True, until kid was about 12 or so, then they lost their driver licenses. Have no idea who turned them in … looks Innocent (well wasn’t the ONLY one, all the kids & grandchildren called in anonymously, multiple times.)

  13. You’ve got my sympathies. We sold at three conventions in August, and I thought sure that they’d pull us back out of the financial doldrums we’ve been stuck in for the last two years.

    Hah. Tampa Bay Comic Con was down for the second year in a row (in the past, it’s been one of our best shows). Michigan Comic Con was OK for a first-year con, although I could’ve done without the officious petty tyrant we had to deal with on Sunday. Geek.Kon was a huge disappointment, since it had done extraordinarily well for a small con in 2014, and this year it was little more than break even. We’ve got enough money to squeak through to our next set of conventions, but it throws the proverbial monkeywrench into a lot of our plans.

    So now we’re regrouping, trying to figure out what we need to change in our lineup of merchandise, restocking things that we’ve let slip but actually sold better than we’d realized and clearancing out some stuff that looks appealing but just isn’t selling and is a pain in the kiester to get packed and unpacked.

    And I really need to get my act back together on the writing and indie publishing front, which has taken a huge hit over a year of craziness. Not to mention the AdSense sites that need to be brought up to modern coding standards.

    So much to do, and I somehow need to break it all down into bite-sized portions so I don’t get overwhelmed and end up procrastinating hours and days away. And I have to keep up with preparations for and bookwork after the cons, as well as the actual traveling and selling.

    1. So much to do, and I somehow need to break it all down into bite-sized portions so I don’t get overwhelmed and end up procrastinating hours and days away.

      😦  I am so sorry.  

      Been there, have the mess to prove it.  When I discovered the principle of breaking things down into manageable portions I did start making better headway. 

      May Fortune smile upon you and the adjustments you are making in inventory prove just what the market wants.

      1. I have trouble looking at the manageable portion without seeing the unmanageable looming surroundings. I can either not look at all, or have to look at *everything*. So I generally go the “not look at all” route. (I think it’s an ADHD, or ADD, sort of thing, which is mostly an excuse but probably true.)

        I’m getting a *little* better because getting a manageable thing done is encouraging and I hope maybe it can all snowball in the *other* direction. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

        1. I would not call ADHD/ADD an excuse unless you choose use as such. Rather it is something to be kept in mind. It comes with strengths as well as weaknesses. Moderate your environment and expectations. Make plans accordingly.

      2. Thanks. The biggest problem we have right now is cash flow. With so much of our money tied up in that merchandise that isn’t selling well, it’s hard to buy more of the merchandise that does. I’m thinking it may take several cycles of restocking at least some of what we need, even if it means we’re still leaving money on the table when we don’t have enough of the rest.

        1. My mom use to do craft fairs, and she’d take orders if she didn’t have exactly what someone wanted– it would take some prep-work in finding out what size “if it fits, it ships” box would work for each thing, but that might also let you cash in on folks who had to fly in.

          Just a little sign that says “see something you love that won’t fit in your luggage? Ask us about ordering it to ship home!”

  14. “Plan” comes from a Proto-Indo-European phrase meaning “list of shit that isn’t actually going to happen.”

    Semper Gumby.

  15. So, I need to finish the next chapter, but I went to the Crunchyroll Expo this year (and, that in itself was a “thing that went very wrong” thing, in itself), and I was walking around the artist’s alley. Came across one artist that was doing awesome work and I wanted to have art of the main characters of the first book done by her. Straightforward commission.


    I’ve never written down, in one place, what these characters look like. Or done the description porn of their outfits. I know their personalities, I know their fighting styles, but it hasn’t been in one place.

    So…for the last three days, I’ve been writing out the main characters. And, describing everything from clothing tastes (blouses and skirts) to sexual preferences (trysexual) to blades (they have a love of pole-arms, at least these two).

    It’s been…productive at the very least.

    Now, I have to figure out how to resolve some inter-personal dynamics. While at work. While short two people tomorrow, and one the rest of the week.


    Up until the point we eat the minstrels.

    1. part one:

      He was teasing maybe, but he really wasn’t being very honest, and therefore she almost lost her job.

  16. Do you recall Jerry Pournelle would speak of his “monk’s cell” wherein he could write, but not do anything else? This may be something to convert one of the kids’ bedrooms into. Or better, a corner of a garret. But if you go that route you’ Have to tell me what a garret is.

      1. I imagine the apartment in which Gregory Peck’s character in Roman Holiday lived. Or the one in which Gene Kelly lived in American in Paris. Or maybe the top floor apartment with the large window in Rear Window.

  17. Yes, I now, this is a weird post to be writing the week I won the Dragon. But other than that win — and it’s not QUITE real yet — it was a profoundly sh*tty weekend. We were away to write, and I got semi-ill (long story) and couldn’t sleep and therefore didn’t write much. I did jog the novel out of a flat spot, but honestly, 5k words all weekend sucks. And I’m not even sure what I wrote is useable. I just know it’s a path out of the place I was in that wasn’t working. Even if I end up re-writing it

    I need to show this to the yard ape. You remind me (seem similar to? Have echoes of?) her a lot. We just spent a long week wrestling with writing that … didn’t work.

    You’re a good example. To folk who need it. Keep up the good work & Godspeed.

  18. WordPress keeps eating my posts. Long story short: There’s a young person I know struggling with your writing woes (small scale) and I’m pretty sure your story is going to be useful to her. Thanks.

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