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LindaHilton

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
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All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
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Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
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The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
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Linda Hilton
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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

Why is communication so fucking difficult? (Long rant, off topic, frustrated)

This is one of those TL/DR rants.

 

Background --

 

Several months ago, the local power company Salt River Project ("SRP") showed up in my yard unannounced around 9:00 a.m.  Fortunately, we had just brought the dogs in, or they might have got out and who knows what would have happened.  There had been no notice at all from SRP, none.  No postcard in the mail, no email, no notice with the monthly bills.  It should be noted here that I have two separate accounts for this property, so I get two distinct paper bills.  One is for the house and workshop, the other for the studio.  So there were two opportunities for SRP to notify me of this planned intrusion.

 

THEY DIDN'T NOTIFY ME.

 

The visit, as I learned after several phone calls and a 45 minute in person meeting with the supervisor, was to document whether the existing wooden power pole was due for replacement.  The pole had been installed in 1985/86; they take a lot of abuse from our severe hot weather. 

 

During my conversation with the supervisor, Greg, I learned that there should have been notices but he didn't know how or when they were sent out.  Interestingly enough, he gave me a door hanger card in bright golden orange that contained all the pertinent information, including his phone number.  I asked why one of these cards hadn't been hung on my gate, or even on my front door.

 

He didn't know.

 

::rolls eyes::

 

The determination was made, on the basis of in-person inspection as well as photographic evidence, that indeed the pole needed to be replaced after 30+ years.  That project would be scheduled "later," and I would receive advance notice.

 

This altered how we handled letting the dogs out during the day, since we really didn't trust SRP very much.  We even talked about going back to locking the inside gate, though this creates an additional inconvenience on top of the existing inconvenience of opening and closing the gate every time one of us leaves or comes in.  Plus, we would have to add locks to the two walk-through gates.

 

Last week, without any notice at all, SRP showed up and dropped off not one but TWO replacement power poles.  They unloaded them by the side of the road -- I ought to go out and take photos -- and marked them with traffic cones so no one would drive into them.  A few days later, I received an email notifying me that a crew would be out to replace the existing pole, within a window of "the week of August 15" and "between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m."

 

In other words, either leave the property totally accessible during that entire window, or sit around and wait for them to show up.

 

Now, if both of us worked outside the home, this would present a problem. Would we be expected to just leave the property accessible and not even know if/when someone would show up?

 

(When I spoke today with "Cristina" the scheduler, she kind of didn't quite understand that.)

 

Anyway, last Thursday I called one of the numbers on the door hanger card that Greg had given me.  I left a detailed message as to why I was calling -- I wanted some advance warning on when the crew was going to be out to replace the pole.  "Noelle" called me back and said she understood my needing a better schedule than just sometime next week.  She would get with the scheduler and call me back.

 

She never did.

 

Over the weekend, BF and I decided that it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and start locking all the gates, especially when both of us are gone.  We happened to have three padlocks in the workshop, all of which opened with the same key.  And we had the three keys for them.  So Saturday morning, locks went on all the gates.  It's a major inconvenience, but we felt it was necessary.

 

Nothing happened yesterday.  No phone call from SRP, nothing.

 

This morning (Tuesday) I received another email, virtually identical to the one I received last week.  I read through it to see if there were any more specific information, and there was not.  I still had received no return call from the scheduler after last week's conversation.

 

I had no errands to run today.  I had a lot of little chores around the house, including laundry.

 

At 10:29, the phone rang.  I don't answer it if I don't recognize the number.  A minute or so later, the phone beeped to let me know there was a voice mail.  Because most of the 25-second voice mails I get are from scam IRS calls, I almost didn't listen to this one.  But I did, and it was from the SRP crew letting me know they were on their way and would be here in 10 minutes.

 

I wasn't fully dressed.  I could have been in the shower.  I could have been not at home.

 

I barely had time to throw on some clothes, grab my keys, and go out to unlock the gate.  I chewed the guy out for the short notice and almost sent him packing, but it really wasn't his fault.

 

Now, remember when I said they dropped off two replacement poles last week?  Well, it turns out they're not going to replace both of the poles on my property.  The second new pole, according to the crew leader, was to go "on the back" somewhere.  He didn't know exactly where.

 

I told him there are no poles on the back of my property.  There are no power lines back there.  This didn't seem to bother him.

 

As it turned out, however, is crew wasn't going to actually replace the pole or poles.  They were only there to drill the hole into which the new pole would be dropped.

 

I asked him when that was going to be.

 

He didn't know.

 

So now here I am faced with ANOTHER potential interruption at some unknown point in the future.

 

I got on the phone again.  I had to leave a message with "Noelle," and it wasn't easy because by this time the crew had driven in through the gate and Moby was barking his very loud head off incessantly.  (He did that until they left an hour later.)

 

A short while later, Cristina called me back.  She was very nice, very sympathetic.  She apologized that I didn't get more notice.  I went through the whole timeline of what had happened.

 

She now gave me yet another version of what's going on. 

 

Yes, there are two poles to be replaced.  One is on my property, the other is "somewhere else."  There will be a separate crew to install the poles.  My power will be off after they replace the pole on my property and the power lines are switched from the old pole to the new one.  This will take two to three hours, but because it's summer, SRP guarantees that it will be NO LONGER than three hours.

 

What do they do if they can't finish in three hours?  Well, Cristina didn't know.

 

She asked, however, if 24 hours notice would be sufficient for me, and I told her yes that would be great.

 

A short while later, she called back and said she had talked to "Glenn," whose crew would be installing the poles.  He had another installation to do tomorrow morning, so would noon tomorrow (Wednesday) be good for me?  I told her that would be fine, as I had nothing scheduled for Wednesday at all.  I'd make arrangements for the power being off in the afternoon.

 

I also told her that in the event that weather -- always a consideration around here during monsoon season -- altered the schedule, I would be less flexible on Thursday and not at all flexible on Friday.  (I did not tell her that BF might be here and able to handle gate minding duties, because he wasn't home at the time so I couldn't confirm anything with him anyway.)

 

During all this time, the crew was still working out there with their big drill/auger, their huge truck filling the entire driveway.  Moby was still barking.

 

I had tried to convey the essentials to BF via text while all this was going on.  He finally returned from his morning socializing around 11:30.  Whether the crew had moved their big truck before then or not, I don't know.  But BF came in and said there was a problem.

 

::rolls eyes::

 

The auger had encountered too many rocks and couldn't finish the hole.

 

The property is literally at the base of a mountain.  There are rocks EVERYWHERE.

 

 

This is the "retaining wall" along my driveway that terraces the slope between my yard and my neighbor's.  It's roughly 18 inches high.  All the rocks here, and all the rocks in her yard, are from the ground here.  We have very little soil.  We have lots of rocks.  Some of them are pretty good sized.  They're everywhere, they're everywhere.

 

Why the crew didn't come prepared to encounter rocks is beyond me.  They informed BF, however, that their auger wasn't going to be able to complete the hole.  They were going to have to come back in the morning. . . . .

 

WITH A JACKHAMMER.

 

They wanted to know what was a good time.  I said 9:00 a.m.

 

Now, remember that there is another pole to be installed somewhere else.  The crew leader didn't know where.

 

When BF told me this -- I didn't talk to the crew leader myself -- I took it upon myself to call Cristina at SRP and let her know, just in case this was going to affect the installation of my pole scheduled for noon tomorrow.

 

Needless to say, NO ONE had notified her of the delay in drilling the hole.

 

Even so, she didn't think it would make much difference.  So the Wednesday noon installation was still on.

 

I then began explaining some of the other relevant details to BF regarding how the wires would actually be moved, and so on, and that I would have to notify the cable company to get their act together so they can move their wires from the old pole to the new one, after which I would then notify SRP that they can remove the old pole.

 

It was at that point that I realized my neighbor, Patti, also has wires attached to that pole.  She also has a landline phone.  Not knowing if she had been notified, I thought I'd be neighborly and check with her.

 

OH MY FUCKING GOD.

 

She didn't know anything about the wires.  She's 80 or 81, a widow whose husband took care of everything.  "I don't understand that stuff.  Ernie took care of it and I don't know anything about where the wires are or what they do."

 

Despite the temperature being in the upper 90s, I agreed to meet her out at the fence to take a look at the pole.

 

For some reason or other, the power lines for both of our houses come from the street to a pole at the front of my property, then from that pole to the one that's being replaced.  But even though my house was moved in two years before Patti's, my lines from the "inside" pole are then buried, where hers are strung from the top of the pole to the house.  (Very likely this is why she has more problems with her service than I ever have, but that's neither here nor there.)  She also has her landline phone strung from pole to house.  (She has a cell phone for emergencies but doesn't trust it.  She doesn't trust anyone or anything.)

 

Patti has no computer, refuses to have one.  (She doesn't trust them, either.  Someone could get her bank information and steal all her money.)  But she does have a phone and an answering machine, and she is very diligent about answering the answering machine.

 

I asked her if she had received any notification from SRP about this pole replacement and related power outage.

 

She had received none.

 

I explained everything to her, including that the power would be out for about two to three hours starting at noon tomorrow.  She said she has a doctor's appointment in the morning but would be home by noon.

 

I then came back in the house and called Cristina again to let her know that my neighbor hadn't been notified.  Cristina insisted there was no one else affected by this pole.  I said I was just outside and looked at it with Patti, and there is no question that her power line and my power line are on the same pole.  How is that mine will be out, but hers won't?

 

Cristina began looking. She had my address, XX77 East (street name, which is no big secret).  She asked what Patti's address was.  I told her it was XX55, right next door to me.  I gave her Patti's name, her full name, her late husband's name.

 

Cristina had no record of Patti at that address.  Could the account be in someone else's name?  She suggested a name, which she had on her records as being at that address.  But I informed her that Patti only has one son, so the last name would be the same, and no other relatives.

 

By now I was starting to lose what little faith I had had in Cristina.  She's supposedly looking AT A MAP of the properties that shows where the poles are to be replaced.  She has identified my property ON THE MAP.  But Patti isn't there?

 

I explained to Cristina that Patti is elderly and this isn't her area of expertise.  How could SRP possibly have failed to notify someone of a pending outage?

 

Well, Cristina explained, SRP sends out letters and then they follow up with email.

 

I told her -- again -- that Patti doesn't have email. 

 

Well, Cristina said, maybe she had an email on file at one time.

 

No, I told her.  Patti has NEVER had a computer, NEVER had email.  She has a cell phone she won't give anyone the number to because it's only for emergencies, and she has a landline.

 

Well, Cristina asked, does she have an answering machine?

 

Yes, and she checks it religiously.  "She never got a phone call from you."  I even gave Cristina Patti's phone number to see if she had it in her records.  She didn't.

 

She had no record of Patti at all.

 

Starting to lose my temper, I said, "So this elderly lady would have been just sitting there minding her own business at noon  tomorrow, probably sitting down to have her lunch, and her power would have gone off and she would have had no warning?"

 

That's when Cristina informed me that . . . . .

 

My power is going to go off at 9:00 a.m., not noon.  It will go off when the OTHER pole, the one we don't know the location of, is replaced.

 

That's not what she had told me before.  That's not what anyone had told me before.

 

I had always been told that my power -- and of course Patti's as well as anyone else who might be on the same pole -- would go off when MY pole was replaced and MY lines were transferred to the new pole.

 

Oh, no, that's not how it works, Cristina said.  The power will go off when the OTHER pole is replaced and the lines are transferred.

 

At this point, BF is standing there making gestures like he wants to butt in.  I ask Cristina to hold on for a minute and BF butts in.

 

"The guy who was digging the hole told me the power will be off when they replace the pole here," he says.

 

"The pole they're digging the hole for that they need the jackhammer for?" I asked.

 

"Yes," he confirmed.

 

"Not the other pole that we don't know where it is?"

 

He shook his head.  "Not the other pole.  They don't know anything about that one."

 

Okay, put everything on pause for a minute.

 

There are two new power poles lying on the ground by the side of the road in front of my property.  They were delivered last week.

 

One of those two poles is to replace the rotting, 30+ year old pole on my property.  The other is to go . . . somewhere else.

 

The guy who is going to install my pole at noon tomorrow is going to install the OTHER pole at this OTHER site before he installs mine.

 

The crew digging the holes for these poles does not know where the other pole goes, but it has to be installed before mine.

 

Are you getting a sense of FUBAR about this?  I certainly was.

 

So, back to real time.

 

I tell Cristina that it's a good thing this is all screwed up because if I hadn't called her back, I would have been under the impression -- which was given by everyone I had talked to -- that it was the replacement of my pole that would require the outage, NOT the replacement of this somewhere-or-other second pole.

 

By this point I was losing it.  I got off the phone with Cristina and called Patti next door to tell her she didn't exist, according to SRP's records.  I gave her Cristina's number so she could call and find out what was going on.

 

I actually asked BF if it was just me or if this was completely fucked up. 

 

He said it was completely fucked up.

 

A few minutes later, Patti called back.  More or less everything is now straightened out.  Sort of.

 

Cristina had my address correct.  She was looking at the map that had my address and my property on it, both listed correctly.  But when Patti called Cristina, Cristina realized she was looking at the wrong street!! 

 

Our street has a name, but most of the other parallel streets here only have numbers.  I could understand if she mixed up, say, 26th Street and 28th Street, which might look similar on a map.  BUT NOT A WORD AND A NUMBER.

 

But the change in times also mattered.  Patti has a doctor appointment tomorrow morning, and she worried that if the power was off while she wasn't home, it could come back on and blow out her circuit breakers and cause a fire.  Or that her alarm system would be off and someone would break in and rob her (in the middle of the day with neighbors watching).

 

Patti is very paranoid.

 

So she was going to cancel her doctor's appointment and reschedule.  Of course, if the planned pole replacement and power outage doesn't go as planned, I don't know what she'll do.

 

BF has a doctor appointment, too, tomorrow, and I have one on Friday.  Mostly there will be someone here during the normal SRP working hours one way or another.  But this has just become stupid and a half.

 

I have now lost almost all of today on this crap.  Some will say I should have just brushed it all off and done . . . . . something else.  No, not gonna happen.  This is the way I am.  I can't stand being forced to deal with gross incompetence.  What if there were essential medical devices that needed electricity?  What if I were working from home and had an important project going on the computer when suddenly the power went off?  Yes, these things happen unexpectedly, and we try to be prepared for them.  But there's no excuse when it's "planned maintenance" and no proper notice is given.

 

I hate stupid people.

 

I'm in a bad mood.

 

 

 

 

Spinning my wheels

Since returning from my little vacation in Seattle, I've been very busy but have accomplished almost nothing.  At least nothing of substance.

 

A crafting project that had made a total mess of its own in the studio is, however, now completed.  My inventory of this particular item had been almost entirely depleted, so I had to replenish stock before the show season starts.  And a good thing, too, because the day I finished restocking, I received a nice wholesale order.  With that out of the way, I can focus on adding to my jewelry stock, which was also depleted after last season.  I can't really complain!

 

I've received confirmation of my acceptance into two more art shows for this season, bringing the total right now to three.  Last season I did eight (I think) and that really was too much for me to do by myself.  I'm limiting this year to six definite (if I'm accepted into the other three) plus two more possibles, only because three of the definites will require much less set-up labor than last year.  And if the two possibles don't work out, it's no big deal.

 

But then there is the really important stuff.

 

My intentions to read and to write got shoved aside. . . mostly.  I haven't even had time to sort out what books to read for Halloween Bingo, though there are a few fairly obvious ones in my collection.  My promise to myself is not to go looking for books to add to the existing library for Bingo, but to read only items already on hand.   

 

Now if only the freebie offerings wouldn't show up in my email every morning!

 

I do manage to get in at least half an hour of focused reading each evening, by which I mean no distractions, no interruptions.  I'm trying to finish David Corn and Michael Isikoff's Russian Roulette before my last digital library renewal runs out.

 

The writing, however, has been almost completely sidelined.  My sole accomplishment in that area has been to collect, sort out, and transcribe most of the hand-written notes that have been scattered about the house.  The dozen or so pages of text for Forgotten Magic, alas, have not turned up; the only conclusion is that somehow I threw them away in my cleaning zeal just before vacation.  Almost all the rest has been taken care of, and my plan is to finish the rest of it before this week is over.

 

Part of the reason for not writing lies in the lack of reading.  I write more when I read more.  So I'm hoping that situation will change as I sort through more of the chaos that seems to have accumulated over the summer.

 

Another huge project staring me in the face - and directly related to the chaos - is the clutter.  The junk.  The stuff that's been hoarded over the years (decades?) under the malicious twin rubrics of "Don't throw that away; I might need it someday" and "Wait, set that aside; I think I can make something out of it."  At present, it's still too hot to spend very much time in the workshop, where the bulk of the "stuff" is stored, but daytime temperatures are hovering around 100 now rather than 110, and nights occasionally dip all the way down into the (upper) 70s, which means summer is winding down.  I'm at least able now to make some plans on what to do with the "stuff" -- and that means throwing some of it away.

 

As mentioned above, I've cleaned up most of the assorted writing bits and scraps, and the crafting project that migrated from the studio to the house in its final stages has been dealt with.  Summer is the time when I fold lots and lots and lots of paper squares for my origami jewelry boxes, so that stuff is in little stacks everywhere. Now I'm starting to assemble them and move them back to the studio, thus cleaning up various little messes here and there.  Slowly, slowly, slowly, order will be returned.  Maybe.

 

But as I sit here waiting for a load of laundry to finish in the dryer, I can't help thinking how lovely it would be to crawl back in bed, prop a couple fat pillows behind me, and just read the day away.

Halloween Book Bingo- freebie today

https://www.amazon.com/Curious-Cursed-Spectacles-Curiosity-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B0732F9W2Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533915920&sr=8-1&keywords=the+curious+case+of+the+cursed+spectacles

 

Would fit several squares, and it's free 10 Aug 2018.

Regency Digital Re-Issues - Edith Layton

Per Ms. Layton's daughter Susie on Twitter:

 

https://twitter.com/susiefelber/status/1027390746708598785

 

I have only two or three of Edith's books, but I thoroughly enjoyed them.

 

One of the things I've missed since leaving RWA is the opportunity to visit with my fellow authors.  Edith and I chatted for several hours in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis in New York at an RWA conference, about writing, about Richard III, and about politics.

 

I'm not a huge fan of the Regency sub-genre, but I found Edith's books more than a cut above.  I look forward to picking up at least a few of them as ebooks.

R.I.P. Stan Mikita

Chicago Blackhawks' all-time leading scorer.

 

http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/24313004/blackhawks-legend-stan-mikita-dies-78

 

 

Extending my mini-vacation, and then it's over

  • The four-day week-end I spent in the Seattle area was not much of a vacation, other than being a break from cooking and washing dishes.

    I think I walked three or four miles just through the airports and had the burden of hauling a suitcase and overloaded laptop case.  Being old and out of shape doesn't help.  Even on wheels, the combination of luggage was heavy.  There was no way I could have carried it up and down stairs, so I appreciated the escalators, but in many places there were just ramps.  They're fine on the downward slant, but uphill ramps have always done a number on my ankle and calf muscles.

    During my stay, we went to baseball games three days out of the four, and invariably there was uphill and downhill walking, with the same effect on my muscles as airport ramps.  Nights were often late and most mornings were early, so I didn't get nearly as much sleep as I would have liked.  And sleep in an unfamiliar bed never provides the best rest.  Each day I fell further and further behind.

    Sunday, we went to beaches.  Several of them.  We went in search of stones and seaglass.  I found enough little stones at one beach to maybe make a small tumbler load and maybe produce some casual jewelry, but the seaglass beach was inaccessible.  That was a bit of a disappointment.

    We also went to the beaches to take pictures.  No one has any pictures of me because I'm always the one taking the photos, and I don't like any of the photos of me anyway.  But everyone wanted some family pictures, so we found a big driftwood log at one beach and some pictures were taken.  I haven't seen them yet.  I'm not sure when I will.

    I returned to Arizona Monday – the airport walks were longer and even more horrendous because I was already exhausted – and wasted no time.  Dirty laundry was the first thing unpacked, and while the washer was running I finished the unpacking.  As soon as the clothes were in the dryer, I set the timer for an hour and crawled into bed for a 60 minute nap.  There being insufficient groceries in the house to fix supper – and there being absolutely no enthusiasm on my part for cooking it anyway – we went out to eat.  I came home completely exhausted in spite of my nap, and was sound asleep shortly after 9:00.

    This morning I woke up earlier than I really wanted to and had no desire to get out of bed, so I spent about an hour just being lazy and doing some thinking.  It's not the first morning I've done that, but for a variety of reasons this morning was a bit different.

    A good portion of the past weekend was also devoted to motivational conversations, for reasons I won't go into here.  Although I was not the object of these discussions, much of what was said hit home: I've not been adequately motivated to stick to my writing and I've also been far too willing to come up with convenient excuses.  The weather is too hot or too cold, there are too many worries about finances, too many appliances have broken, blah, blah, blah, blah.  The end result is that I have two novels sitting at well more than 50,000 words each, and I have done virtually nothing on either of them for months.

    A few weeks ago, I figured out why one of the books was stalled.  The problems were fixable, with some work, and the fix would make the story much stronger.  And even at 50,000 words, the book was going to require a whole lot more writing anyway.  The words don't write themselves; I'd have to stop making excuses and get to work.

    The other book presents a much more complicated problem.  I began writing it without a clear idea where it was going.  The plot was vague and strongly character-driven, so I had the character arc well formed, but not much else.  The more I worked on it, the more the writing veered to the character part of the plot and away from the story, because the story wasn't strong enough to pull it back.

    The story also had a huge hole.  No, that's not quite right.  The story as I had written it up to those 50,000 words had an obvious weakness.  At least it was obvious to me.

    As I read other books and saw similar or even worse weaknesses, I wondered if readers noticed, and if they noticed, did they care.  These flimsy plots and characters who acted without proper motivation or consistency bothered me.  Did they bother other readers?  Whether or not they did, I knew I was having more and more problems with this book because it bothered me.  I had put my character, the one who was driving the whole book, into a situation I couldn't imagine her actually getting herself into.  It made no sense to me the author; how could I even begin to make it make sense to a reader?

    Over the weekend I found an answer, or at least a possible answer.  As with the other stalled novel, this one would require more work.  I'm not sure how much work, or where the changes will need to be made.  Will I have to go back into those existing 50,000 words and make major modifications?  It's been months since I've read it all the way through and I know there are details I've forgotten.  Will they fit in this new "fix" I've sort of come up with?

    The truth is, I've allowed myself to be distracted far too much.  I've forgotten how difficult writing is.  I wanted it to be easy.

    In fact, writing has always been easy for me.  That's not to say the easy writing is always good writing, but I've always been able to do it.  

    What's hard is turning off the distractions.  What's hard is sitting down and facing the next blank line, the next sentence, the next paragraph, without worrying whether some reader is going to like it or not.  What's hard is turning of my internal editor who has the rejection slip already in her hand and just needs my own SASE to send it back to me.

    Today is Tuesday.  I'm catching up on some other work while I mentally play with these two plot improvement projects.  Tomorrow I have another grocery shopping expedition on the schedule, with the follow-up of putting the groceries away.  Overall, it will take up my entire morning.  Another list of chores faces me related to the upcoming art show season.  My first scheduled show is less than ten weeks away.

    The arts and crafts stuff is part of this.  It's a distraction in and of itself, but it's also a source of income, which I need.  There's a necessary balance to be achieved, and frankly, I haven't found it yet.  That's another task for the next couple of days as I think this all through.

    I've been in this position before.  There's always a desire to write, and plenty of workable ideas to which to apply that desire, but the distractions and emotional obstacles stand in the way.  Self doubt is a big one, and maybe having these two plots worked out – at least for now – will help erase some of that doubt.  I've never had an abundance of self-confidence, and it gets pummeled pretty regularly.  Even a light-hearted Twitter query about "Did you ever have someone who had more confidence in yourself than you did, and how did it affect you?" can feel like a dagger to the heart.  No, I never had anyone who had more confidence in me than I did.  Never.  And I never really had much confidence in myself to begin with.

    It's hard to push past that, and yet I've done it in the past.  I know it can be done.  I know I can do it.  I just have to do it.            

    Therefore, I've given myself the rest of this week to put all these other issues in order and out of the way.  There will still be work to be done for the art shows, but that's an ongoing effort.  The other stuff needs to be set aside, so I can focus on the writing.

    There were elements of my four-day weekend that were enough of a vacation to give me the opportunity to think out the problems of these two books and clarify potential fixes.  As I continue to think these through, my job is also to make -- make, not find -- the time to do the writing.  That means to stop making excuses, stop finding excuses.
     
    I think we get a warm feeling inside at the thought of everyone having a mentor, a supporter, someone who makes each of us somehow rise above whatever is holding us back so we can achieve our dreams.  The sad truth is that most of us don't have that someone.  Most of us don't achieve our dreams.  Many of us don't achieve those dreams because we're waiting for that bit of support or encouragement.  But I wonder just how many successes out there are attributable to raw, ugly, solo determination.  I'm taking that for my model.
     

Russian Roulette - must read

Russian Roulette - Michael Isikoff

Sending from kindle in Seattle.

 

Reading digital library edition but may have to spring for my own copy.

DASHBOARD NOT LOADING

More Old Photos and Chuckles

I'm not able to adjust these the way I would like to until I get the laptop back, but I came across something amusing.

 

This is the high school graduation program of the Eighth District School in I think Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

 

 

I guess back then people thought cellophane tape was great stuff, but they didn't know the damage it would do to ephemeral items like paper programs.  That's what left the stains.

 

Anyway, my Great-Great Aunt Gussie, Augusta Peterson, was a member of the Class of 1893.

 

 

I have pictures of some of the other Peterson siblings as children but haven't found one of a younger Gussie . . . yet. 

 

 

What brought a chuckle, however, was reading the scheduled events.

 

 

It's the Essay that caught my eye. 

 

 

I'll send Ms. Trout a Tweet.

Dropping the laptop off at 11:30 for repairs over the week-end

Not sure I'll be on BookLikes (or anywhere else) very much, though I do have the Kindle and the desk computer as back-up.

 

I have tons of chores to get out of the way before my trip, and not having the laptop for instant distraction should help me cross more of them off my HUMONGOUS list.  One of those chores is already done this morning, ahead of the day's heat.

 

Along with chores, I'm hoping to fit in a bunch of reading.  The Kindle freebies are piling up again!

1951-ish

I knew there were some more photos in the cabinet, but I didn't realize just how many there are.  Depending on what decision is made regarding the laptop - right now, it looks like I'm going to go further in debt and buy a new one -- I am going to be very busy trying to scan the rest of them.

 

These two were a priority.  I took time I didn't really have to locate, scan, and edit these to post here.

 

Taken at my grandparents' house on Owen Avenue in Edison Park, IL, probably in the spring or early summer 1951.  I think I earlier posted some other pictures taken at the same time.  Tebo is the white and brown dog, Topsy is the black one.  Topsy lived to be about 15 and was buried on their property in Roselle, Illinois.  (I remember a lot of worthless trivia.)

 

 

 

/

Hiatus

I may not be around much for the next two weeks or so.

 

after finally getting BookLikes to work yesterday, my computer broke. The hinges apparently are a problem, and the cause the frame around the screen to come loose. I had the right side repaired a few months ago but now the other side went kerplooey.  Not sure if I want to get it fixed again or buy another.  I'm really disgusted.

 

I have to decide quickly because I'm due to leave next Wednesday for a short visit to seattle. I wanted to show the family these old photos so I need the laptop.

 

everything is backed up so I don't have to worry about losing any files. I'll keep you all posted.

 

sent from the Kindle so i m not responsible for typos.

It's getting worse

This is all I get on my blog!!!

 

I CAN'T EVEN LOAD MY OWN BLOG.

 

 

 

This is all I get

Big Name Author Behaving Badly

Celeste Ng

 

https://twitter.com/hymn510/status/1017807289221242880