Deliveries

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a writer at work rarely has anything newsworthy to report.

However!  I did want to let y’all know that the new entry way bench arrived this morning, and it looks like it has always been there.  Still haven’t solved the rug situation, but we’ll get there. . .

Other than that, I did commit fountain pen the other day, bringing my hoard to six pens — three Pilot Metropolitan cartridge pens, which get very little use at the moment, but which have the distinction of having Shown Me The Way.  The three in use daily are TWSBI demonstrators — two ECOs and (the new) one GO.  Ink colors, for those who want Deep Details are Noodler’s Wampum, Diamine Sherwood Green, and Diamine Ancient Copper.

Fans of the cats will wish to know that they’re enjoying the new place, and that the work of locating Appropriate Cat Spots is ongoing.  Management is in receipt of a request that we use the sofa in the living room more often, maybe watch a movie or something, huh?  Something where a cat can get a serious snuggle going.

In other news, writing has been going forth, slower than I would like, but that’s always the way.  Life in the city continues to be amusing and occasionally surprising.  I continue to like the new digs very much; it’s amazing how quickly we got rooted; In a way, I feel like we’ve been living here for years.

. . .and I think that’s all I’ve got.

Here’s a picture of the new bench:

Winter is coming

So, the new house is open-ish, where the old house had been a series of closed rooms off of a central hallway.  In the old house, during the winter, you would walk into the kitchen, onto the nice vinyl floor, take off your boots and put on the nice warm slippers you may have actually remembered to leave against your return by the kitchen table.  It was a biggish kitchen, and there was room enough to accommodate these necessary seasonal arrangements.

One enters the new house into a teensy-tiny space with white ceramic tile on the floor, closet directly in front of you, galley kitchen to the right, living room to the left.  You might, I suppose, stand there on the cold slippery tiles and dispose of your boots, balancing on one leg at a time and trying not to put your sock-foot into an icy puddle. . .but then there’s the problem of where to put the derned things, the living room having a wood floor.  Boot tray, I guess, except…

The living room in this, the new house, is quite spacious, and we’re only using about the inner two-thirds of it.  The front third, frankly, is a mess.  It’s the first thing you see when you come into the house, and it’s kind of become a holding area for cat pillows, and things that have to be moved out to the garage, and a table that I thought would be useful as a reading table, so Steve and I could wean ourselves from sitting at the kitchen table all night, but it turns out that idea doesn’t really work. . .

Anyhow, I was looking at all that yesterday, trying to figure out how to make it more seemly  (and, yes, thinking in terms of more! book shelves! as one does) when I remembered these facts:

Winter is coming.

We will need somewhere to put on, take off, and store boots.

So, the use for the front third of the living room has been identified.  A mudroom storage bench can go into the space under the windows, so we can sit down to put boots on and off.  Boot trays are easy.  The wooden floor. . . well.

It would be best, if we could just extend the foyer tile into that section, but that’s not happening before winter, or possibly at all.  So, next best is a waterproof rug.

Well.  Things to shop for.  I needed that.

In other news, “The Vestals of Midnight,” an Archers Beach story by Sharon Lee, has been turned in to editor Michael Ventrella for the Release the Virgins! anthology.  I think that’s the last of the short stories I was committed to writing off my plate.  Not that there won’t be other short stories, but there are presently none spoken for, with, like, a deadline attached.

This means that I can put all of my attention on Accepting the Lance — except for the shopping, that is.

Hope everyone is having a pleasant start to the week.

 

But when you’re born to run it’s so hard to just slow down

Midnight Vestals is the name of my next band. Because I know someone was wondering.

Also, it was hot today, though not as hot as it could’ve been, and I made the Command Decision to go with open windows and fans, because I am So Very Tired of the damn’ roaring from the air conditioner, I can’t tell you. Anyhow, that may have been a mistake. All of my joints hurt, and I am not in my usual agreeable rosy mood.

Despite which, laundry — though not quite all the laundry — has been done, and writing, too.

The slacks I’d thought were lost in the mail, they were so long behind All the Other Things in the same order, arrived today. Mailed from Sweden. The rest of the things came from Massachusetts and Georgia. Oh. That’ll do it.

Tomorrow! I am to Charlie’s Subaru at a ridiculously early hour (though not the most ridiculous early hour) to get the interior light upgrade for Skylark the Forester.

. . .and then I think that my next social engagement is Monday afternoon’s massage. Maybe I’ll turn off All the Internets and get some work done.

I also realized today that, one month from Saturday, I will (1) celebrate my 66th birthday and (2) attend my first ever carousel convention.  Yep.  Definitely need to get some serious work done this weekend.

What’ve you got planned for the weekend?

Today’s blog title brought to you by Steve Winwood, “Back in the High Life Again.”  Here’s your link.  Or, if you don’t care for Steve Winwood, here’s the link to Warren Zevon’s cover.

Or, yanno, listen to them back to back.

Books read in 2018

40. Miss Pym Disposes, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
39. Cinnamon Blade: A Knife in Shining Armor, Shira Glassman (e)
38. Hunter of Worlds, C.J. Cherryh (re-read; read aloud with Steve)
37. The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
36. The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
35. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
34. Waiting on a Bright Moon, Jy Yang (e)
33.  The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e)
32. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (re-read for me; read aloud w/Steve)
31. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
30. These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
29. The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
28. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
27. The Moon-spinners, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
26. The Cat Who Went Underground, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
25. Winterglass, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (e)
24. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
23. The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (e)
22. The Persian Boy, Mary Renault
21. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
20. Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
19. Woman Without a Past, Phyllis A. Whitney (e)
18. The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble (e)
17. All Systems Red, Martha Wells (e)
16. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (e)
15. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
14. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
13. Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik (e)
12. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (e)
11. The Cat Who Played Post Office, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
10. The Faded Sun: Kutath, CJ Cherryh (e)
9.  Emergence, CJ Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
8.  The Faded Sun: Shon’jir, CJ Cherryh (re-read) (e)
7.  The Faded Sun: Kesrith, CJ Cherryh (e)
6.  My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
5.  The River Bank, Kij Johnson (read aloud with Steve)
4.  Still Life, Louise Penny
3.  Thick as Thieves, Megan Whalen Turner
2.  The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (e)
1.  Romancing the Werewolf, Gail Carriger (e)

Writer at Work

So, I’ve been writing Accepting the Lance in chunks —
 
((AGAIN? moans the kid in the back.))
 
I heard that.
 
So. I’ve been writing Accepting the Lance in chunks — yes, again, and no, I don’t know why. I used to be a straight-on writer. I guess my brain decided that was too easy, anymore.
 
And, as is, I think, typical of writing a thing in chunks — one chunk over There with Character A; another chunk over Here with Character B; yet another chunk ‘waaaaaaaaay over There with Character C; and another chunk with Who The Heck IS that Guy — you get the feeling that you’re running the Red Queen’s Race, that you’re getting nowhere, and not particularly fast, either.
 
So, it’s a Gratifying Moment when your Author Sense tingles in that special way that means It’s Time to Compile, and you realize that you do have 150 pages — which is to say, 1/3 of a novel +/- — all lined up nice and neat (always excepting That Guy — Who the Heck IS That Guy, Anyway?), and you Have Too been working.
 
Now, I get to read the compiled draft to find out what hooks the back-brain set, and feel out the shape of the Rest of the Story.

That could have been worse, actually

There is a Tall Bookshelf in the bedroom, that overlooks the bed. Historically, this is a favorite cat napping spot, even unto the Old Digs. Often, it’s Scrabble up there, though Belle also enjoys the aspect. Trooper seems to have given it over in favor of the new chest of drawers, where it’s just him and my jewelry box; and Sprite prefers the bed itself.
 
As may be.
 
Now, this morning,  I was napping in the bed, with Sprite on my stomach; Trooper on the chest; Belle atop the bookcase. Scrabble came into the room, jumped to the headboard (a wide ledge, also, perhaps, meant to be a bookshelf, but which is in reality the Path to the Tall Bookshelf), and made for the Tall Bookshelf with businesslike little steps, which echoed into the bed, and roused me.
 
I saw Scrabble about to leap to the top of the Tall Bookshelf. I saw Belle asleep, o! so asleep, on the Tall Bookshelf, and I said to Scrabble — “Don’t do it!”
 
She’s a cat. Did she listen to me?
She makes her jump, I hold my breath, anticipating Screams of Outrage, and cat bodies tumbling from on high.
 
And Scrabble lands — on top of Belle, there being no other place TO land.
Belle wakes up, blinking. And for a few seconds they just. . .looked. . .at each other, kind of like, Wait! What’re we supposed to do now?
Belle recovered herself first; she opened her mouth, and — made a noise. Not even a hiss, just a kind of loud poof!
 
This got Scrabble back on script, and she jumped down to the headboard, stomped away, jumped to the floor, and exited the room.
 
All remaining in the bedroom when back to sleep.

Books read in 2018

39. Cinnamon Blade: A Knife in Shining Armor, Shira Glassman (e)
38. Hunter of Worlds, C.J. Cherryh (re-read; read aloud with Steve)
37. The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
36. The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
35. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
34. Waiting on a Bright Moon, Jy Yang (e)
33.  The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e)
32. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (re-read for me; read aloud w/Steve)
31. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
30. These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
29. The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
28. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
27. The Moon-spinners, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
26. The Cat Who Went Underground, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
25. Winterglass, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (e)
24. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
23. The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (e)
22. The Persian Boy, Mary Renault
21. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
20. Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
19. Woman Without a Past, Phyllis A. Whitney (e)
18. The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble (e)
17. All Systems Red, Martha Wells (e)
16. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (e)
15. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
14. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
13. Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik (e)
12. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (e)
11. The Cat Who Played Post Office, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
10. The Faded Sun: Kutath, CJ Cherryh (e)
9.  Emergence, CJ Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
8.  The Faded Sun: Shon’jir, CJ Cherryh (re-read) (e)
7.  The Faded Sun: Kesrith, CJ Cherryh (e)
6.  My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
5.  The River Bank, Kij Johnson (read aloud with Steve)
4.  Still Life, Louise Penny
3.  Thick as Thieves, Megan Whalen Turner
2.  The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (e)
1.  Romancing the Werewolf, Gail Carriger (e)

Books read in 2018

38. Hunter of Worlds, C.J. Cherryh (re-read; read aloud with Steve)
37. The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
36. The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
35. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
34. Waiting on a Bright Moon, Jy Yang (e)
33.  The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e)
32. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (re-read for me; read aloud w/Steve)
31. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
30. These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
29. The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
28. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
27. The Moon-spinners, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
26. The Cat Who Went Underground, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
25. Winterglass, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (e)
24. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
23. The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (e)
22. The Persian Boy, Mary Renault
21. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
20. Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
19. Woman Without a Past, Phyllis A. Whitney (e)
18. The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble (e)
17. All Systems Red, Martha Wells (e)
16. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (e)
15. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
14. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
13. Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik (e)
12. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (e)
11. The Cat Who Played Post Office, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
10. The Faded Sun: Kutath, CJ Cherryh (e)
9.  Emergence, CJ Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
8.  The Faded Sun: Shon’jir, CJ Cherryh (re-read) (e)
7.  The Faded Sun: Kesrith, CJ Cherryh (e)
6.  My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
5.  The River Bank, Kij Johnson (read aloud with Steve)
4.  Still Life, Louise Penny
3.  Thick as Thieves, Megan Whalen Turner
2.  The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (e)
1.  Romancing the Werewolf, Gail Carriger (e)

Dragon Ship

So, yesterday, Steve and I betook ourselves to Rockland, there to tour the Draken Harald Hårfagre, the world’s largest Viking ship sailing in modern times.  It says here.  In fact, the Draken is not historically accurate, by which I mean it is not a recreation of an actual Viking ship recovered from the depths or found sleeping in a bog.  It’s a Viking ship given shape by the enthusiasms of one guy, who managed to talk a bunch of other guys into Doing This Thing (history of the project here).  That said, the Draken is Awesome.

It was built traditionally, and as the crewman who led our tour describes it — the ship “swims” in the water, much like, oh, a sea serpent.  There was also a description of the effort and engineering that goes into raising the main mast and letting out the sails.  The mast weighs. . .I’ll get any number wrong, so let’s just say, A Lot.  It takes about a dozen people, working with a large screw set in the deck to raise it.  The technique is to raise it halfway, which is Hard Enough, then swing it out past the shrouds, release the sail, and then go back to the screw to bring the mast vertical to the ship.

On a previous voyage, the mast — snapped in half; one half fell into the sea; the other half to the deck, where it did not crush anyone, but did trap a crewman below-decks (he was in the head; no escape hatch in the head; they hadn’t thought they’d needed one.  “We’ve got one now,” said our guide.)

The new mast has a bit of graffiti on the base:  If found, please return to Draken Harald Hårfagre. . .

I took a couple pictures on my phone.  Steve took a whole series with his camera.  For those who can see Facebook, they’re here.

After the tour, we did the Full Tourist, buying t-shirts, a book-and-CD set. Steve bought one of Odin’s ravens; I’m not sure if he’s got Thought or Memory.  May have to ask it.

We did learn that the Draken is now charging for tours because the man who caused it to be built no longer wishes to fund the ship out of his pocket; and it must be self-sufficient.  Which means, if it comes to a port near you — please take the tour; it’s not only cool, but you’ll be keeping the Draken out of mothballs.

After the tour, we came home the long way, ate lunch and got to work.

And now. . .it’s time for me to get to work, again.

 

The hurrieder I go. . .

So, one of the very many details which combined to create the Perfect Moment for Lee and Miller to purchase a long-desired city house was the willingness of our lender to accept a down-payment in two parts.  We were required to put 10% down when we closed, and, when we sold the country house, we could put however much more seemed good to us as a second down-payment, which would not only immediately reduce the principle, but also our monthly mortgage payment, without incurring any additional points or fees.  Essentially, it’s a free re-finance, which you may invoke Exactly Once.

Avid readers of this blog will recall that we closed on the country house on Tuesday.  The check representing our piece of the action cleared yesterday, and I contacted our mortgage lender to take advantage of the second down-payment.

Now, my mantra throughout this entire project has been “Sooner is better than later.”

I said this to our broker and she said, “Absolutely! Of course, there’s paperwork to be done, and recalculations to be made, and. . .”

Long and short of it, we will be meeting to take care of this business at the Very First Opportunity — that being next Friday.  At 8:30 am, making it the first item of business on the day.

After my initial sigh of disappointment that Monday had apparently been off the board even before I called, I realized that this date?  Is actually Perfect.

Not only is it a full moon in these parts, but, it is also the third monthiversary of our moving into the city house.

So, it’s actually all fallen into place neatly, and, as a bonus, we can still go see the Viking ship at Rockland on Monday.

And!  Since I do want to see the Viking ship at Rockland on Monday, I need to take this gift of three whole days with, ahem, “nothing to do” to write like the wind.

I hope everybody has a terrific weekend, and I’ll see you on the flip-side.

For those who are curious, here’s a pic of some of the pottery we bought at Georgetown Pottery.  The pattern is called hamada and cobalt.