Earlier today I made a joke on Twitter about how pieces of four blog posts were all fighting in my brain. Then I sat down with a pen and paper to discover that it was at least seven posts. None of them have a chance to be full blog posts unless I get them sorted out a bit. So I’m going to throw the pieces here either to live as little fragments, or perhaps to be rescued and turned into full posts later. Either way, they’ll be out of my head. It was getting noisy in there.
1. While I was out walking yesterday in Salt Lake City with Mary Robinette Kowal who has professional theater training, we were stopped by a man with a very sad story. Within two sentences I recognized the classic Stranger in Distress scam. He picked up pretty quickly that we weren’t buying it and the moment he did, he dropped the act and walked away. At which Mary said “and I applaud that performance.” Later she critiqued the things he was doing wrong in trying to engage sympathy and explained how it could be done much better. Let me say that I hope that Mary never turns scam artist. She’d walk off with all the money.
2. I was in Salt Lake to attend Mary’s reading and to visit with her. So I wore my casual clothes instead of professional appearance gear. So I was taken by surprise to be recognized and to have to introduce myself as an author after the signing. Note: I should have been more prepared for it in that context. It brought to my attention how I have very different modes of approaching the world when I expect to be invisible and when I expect to be putting myself forward.
3. One of the places that Mary and I went was Decades Vintage Clothing where we looked at all the lovely clothes. I love that store. With current budget and time limitations I couldn’t buy myself any clothes, not even for projects. However I did notice a bin of handkerchiefs. One of them was so lovely (Hand embroidered!) that I realized it needs to be in the book I’m writing. So I bought it using the spare change in my purse and brought it home.
4. We’re in the midst of pre-order preparations. Mostly this means that Howard has to blog to let people know when ordering opens. I took some of the iconic art from the book and put it up on eBay for sale. Howard is also going to do some guest posts and other publicity related things. This marketing is important, but it also means the beginning of the pre-order anxieties. Illogical or not, we’re always afraid that THIS pre-order will be the time when no one shows up to buy the book. We’ll throw a party and no one will show. We try very hard not to play the “What if” game, but until we see how the ordering goes, there is a big question mark in the middle of our financial plans for the next six months. I don’t like staring at big question marks.
5. Kiki has been on the job as a Tayler Corporation employee for a week now. We’re still figuring it out. I’ve learned that I have to do a better job of giving her predictable work hours. I’m also still training her on what needs to be done and how to do it. Yet I can see already how much better my life is going to be with help. Kiki did the matting for the eBay art. She’s going to take over most of the routine shipping. She’s helping me organize and plan ahead in ways that I just haven’t had time to do before. I think I’m going to miss her help very much when she goes back to college in August.
6. I’ve moved my accounting day from Monday to Friday. Surprising how a small change can make everything fit better.
7. There are fourteen school days left in the year. I am so ready to stop tracking school assignments. In fact, I kind of did for about a week there, but now I’m trying to be good again. The switch into all the kids being home all day brings its own challenges, but I’m about ready for it anyway.
8. One of the things I did during my day in Salt Lake City was sit down and write words for House in the Hollow. It was really hard to get started again. The whole thing feels a little stupid, which is a normal stage for the muddle in the middle of a book. So to paraphrase Chuck Wendig; this is my beach storming draft. Get out of the water. Establish a beach head on the sand. Don’t Die. Hopefully I’ll find the flow of it again.
9. Howard and Kiki have conspired to hire her for Tayler Corporation artwork. I’m excited at the project. It is going to be fun.
… and I think that’s it. Surely nine posts is more than enough to make one head feel very crowded indeed.
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