work

15 articles tagged as work

Ii am seriously made happy by a package I got in the mail the other day…if you are on FB or Twitter you already saw it, but what can I say?  I am easily made happy.  (Well, not too easily, packing and buying and shipping this was not, I am sure, easy.)

Cates chocolate

But, a reader/friend from Dorset sent me a box of chocolates, a lovely card, and sherbet lemons.  I have not had the chocolates yet…I am enchanted by the fact they look like something that William, from The Chocolatier’s Wife, would make, but I wanted to save them for a few days.

I did have the sherbet lemons…I thought they might be sour, but they aren’t, and I love them…I love lemon, so these are fantastic.  They do taste like sherbet, and I – you can call me a silly American, but I am especially tickled to be eating something out of a bag that has the pound sign on it.  I have always harbored a not so secret love of the UK, and this just feeds (ha, ha) into it.

Nothing else really going on…Autumn is here, and when the days are bright and crisp, I’m excited.  It smells lovely, you can take long walks, enjoy the rustle of leaves.  But then, it gets cold and cruddy and I grumble about the Great Inevitable and wonder if it is too soon to just start wearing my sweater collection to work.  Last Saturday I forwent going to a fencing event to put away things and do yard work, and heard that I missed out on intermittent snow.   This is not my sad face.

Some students entered me in for Cal U’s Presidential Merit Award — I am not eligible because I am staff, not faculty — but it was nice to see that I am appreciated.  I know that I am, but sometimes it is nice to get a reminder.  The letter focused on my work with the fencing and medieval clubs, so the pool of suspects is pretty small.  🙂

 

 

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It’s Final Exam week, and so people are talking about getting rid of their books and scurrying around trying to pull last minute miracles. As one of my faculty said, “Let the begging begin.” I always feel bad for students…not just because I can still remember being one…but because I can understand how things can just implode. But ze rules are ze rules. Sometimes there is no way to save them and you can just see the panic in their eyes. We’re having an unusually high Winter Graduation this year, and we’re losing a lot of wonderful people. But I’ve…I find I’ve gotten used to it. Sometimes there is a particular person who will be missed, but…you get jaded, I guess. My cycle used to be more attuned to the semester…I used to be so excited at the beginning and ends of the semesters, feel nostalgia around homecoming, etc, but now it’s like…blink your eyes, it’ll be back around again. Time moves so fast.

In other news, AVI has made all the coffee/cocoa machines free for finals week (as they do every year) and since the machine downstairs is busted, my student workers and GA’s have been migrating back and forth between here and the building next door. I don’t mind as long as I can tack on a French Cocoa order…yesterday (before the downstairs machine broke) I had a cup and it was spectacular. The French Cocoa from next door isn’t as rich, but it’s a) hot cocoa and b) free and c) made without any effort on my part, so I think it’s wonderful.

Yesterday I received a copy of the Anthology! The cover looks so wonderful…and it has the new book smell and this beautiful silky feel to the cover. So far it’s been really well reviewed. It’s filled with awesome stories by talented people — several of whom are fellow Drollerie Alumni, but what makes me feel all grown up and excited is the fact that three of the authors are people I actually own books by. It feels like a step up in my career. I hope that people are drawn by the big names…Peter S. Beagle, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede…and fall in love with the rest of us.

And the cover is rather lovely…the same guy, David Howard Johnson, who did The Chocolatier’s Wife cover, and the cover to my short story collection (which should be out…this summer? I think?)

I’m tag teaming between zombies and airships right now…but at least I’m writing.

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And the blog tour rolls on with some new and rather nifty looking titles. Don’t forget to comment…you could win an awesome prize, and I could be like, aha, see? I’m you’re good luck charm. Or not.

Visit the Vacation Reads Blog for more info on prizes and to leave a comment.

NATIVE VENGEANCE by Julie Achterhoff

Julie Achterhoff is the author of three books, Native Vengeance, Quantum Earth,
and Deadly Lucidity. They are paranormal thrillers. She grew up reading such
authors as Stephen King and Dean Koontz, which influenced her own writing. She
has been writing since childhood, scaring her teachers with her horror stories.
Reading has also been a great influence on her. Her books can be found on
amazon.com in regular form, and now on Kindle for $3.19 a piece. They can also
be purchased from the publisher at allthingsthatmatterpress.com. You can read
parts of her books on BookBuzzr.

Why did you become involved in your particular genre?

I just love scary stuff! It’s exciting for me to write stories that will scare
people and make them wonder if something like that could really happen. When I
was a kid I read every scary book I could get my hands on. I loved H.P.
Lovecraft and others that kept me up at night. I enjoy creating characters who
are strong, yet also vulnerable, so the reader can relate to them throughout the

story. I also enjoy writing a strong storyline that will keep readers engrossed
until the very end. I also like adding a romantic element in my books. I think
that gives them a little spice. I believe that thrillers are the most
interesting books. They can really get to you!
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AETHER AGE ANTHOLOGY, edited by Brandon Bell

A past remade…

Millennia ago, Greece, Egypt, and other civilizations experienced industrial
revolutions beneath a sky that, in a blink of history, burgeoned into life and
mystery…

With one intervention to human progress, technological civilizations arose.
With one more fantastic change in Nature, humanity broke the bonds of Earth and
ventured out into the aether…

Take flight on airships, balloons, and wooden rockets. Soar with winged
hoplites, exiled princesses, explorers and philosophers. Witness the struggle
for equality, freedom, and power like you never have before.

Explore a history transformed and travel into the heavens to discover what
awaits the civilizations of Humanity in…

The Aether Age: Helios

Book One of the Aether Age Codex

Book Club Guide Included

Comments:

Jaym Gates and I are both taking this chance in the Vacation Reads blog tour to
talk about the same book, The Aether Age: Helios, due out later this year (in
time for your winter vacation!). She is writing about the anthology from the
perspective of writer and I am writing from the perspective of editor.

Aether Age: Helios was my first crack at working as editor. By the time Aether
Age grew into something almost ready to open to submissions, Chris Fletcher made

the offer for me to co-edit the anthology, probably on the basis of my
involvement to that point, coupled with what he knew of me as a writer. Being a

decent writer does not equal a decent editor, but I’d also done the guest post
on M-Brane outlining my ideas about what makes a good story, so Chris must have
believed he had enough data about what kind of editor I might be to feel some
confidence.

I’ve read interviews with editors that I respect and blog posts by writers
discussing their experience in magazines and anthologies. Writers sometimes
feel betrayed by the inclusion of another story, or otherwise compromised due to

an inclusion, exclusion, or lack of editorial vision. And depending on the
lens, Chris and I could look either terribly unpromising or a potential win –at

least in the matter of a diversity of views: two white guys (ah, hmmm), a gay
guy and a straight guy (oh, could be interesting), a non-christian and a
buddhist (really?). All these are just details, though. Diversity was never
even a discussion we had, it just happened. I’m happy on this point: we have a
nice balance of female to male and a great world-spanning contributor list.

Ok, but what about the stories?

Yes, that’s what matters. I won’t name names, but I find reassurance that the
tale I liked least during our reading period has grown into one of my
favorites. Story, well told, trumps the most jaded of reader expectations.

Our guiding editorial principle was simply to cover the range of time envisioned

with interesting tales that varied in tone. We didn’t want a bunch of dark
stories or only stories that dealt with swashbuckling and adventure. Though AeA

has all that.

Some of the stories are not ‘my type of tale’. Not the sort of thing I’d
typically read. And I’m really happy about those stories. I know a book like
Aether Age, so difficult to blurb or explain, is going to be a hard sell for
readers of a more romantic or mainstream bent, but I wish I could put it in the
hands of exactly that reader. There’s just enough darkness, danger, and
adventure to make the gentle moments and so very human relationships echo in the

way that only seems to happen when a set of stories are presented as facets of
their own history.

We all love superstars. Having a superstar in AeA would help sell copies, for
sure. Well, we didn’t get the literary equivalent of U2 or The Beatles. And
that is good. If you are like me, you’ve had that pet band you know and love
that just never attained the household name-recognition of the superstars. The
Mars Volta, The Tragically Hip, Arcade Fire, Portishead… notwithstanding my
Canadian readers for whom a couple of these ARE huge bands, down here in Texas
these are the good stuff that no one seems to know about.

Maybe we have some future superstars in our midst among the AeA table of
contents. We certainly have writers who are widely published and making names
for themselves. But for now, here’s the short story equivalent to the
‘educational mixtape’ you might put together in the hopes of pulling your
hopelessly misled buddies away from Lil Wayne and Justin Beaber.

In that same spirit I present to you The Aether Age: Helios. For your enjoyment

and edification. 😉
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TheKult

THE KULT by Shaun Jeffrey

My name’s Shaun Jeffrey, and having grown up in a house in a cemetery, it’s
pretty safe to assume I was never going to be writing love stories, and perhaps
goes some way to explaining my attraction to the dark side of the literary
spectrum.

I’ve been writing on and off for around twenty years, and it never gets any
easier. But then that’s all part of the challenge and the fun. If it was easy,
everyone would be doing it, and while everyone may have a story to tell, not
everyone can tell it.

Now along with cover pictures, I think taglines are important. They sum up the
story in as few words as possible and hopefully entice readers to buy the book.
Or at least to give it more than a passing glance. ‘People are predictable.
That’s what makes them easy to kill.’ That’s the tagline to my novel, The Kult,
which is a fast paced serial killer story that contains a mix of horror, crime
and mystery. The book was optioned at the end of last year by Gharial
Productions, and shooting on the film begins in September.
www.gharialproductions.comIt will be interesting and exciting to see my story
brought to life, a story that award winning author Jonathan Maberry called ‘a
bumpy ride through nightmare country’. I have two other novels available,
‘Deadfall’ – when the dead won’t stay dead there’s going to be hell to pay. And
‘Evilution’ – humankind is about to change.

Details of these and any other projects can be found on my website:
www.shaunjeffrey.com and sample chapters and my previously published short story

collection ‘Voyeurs of Death’ can be read for free at
http://www.scribd.com/document_collections/2519626

The Kult – People are predictable. That’s what makes them easy to kill.
http://www.shaunjeffrey.com

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BASED UPON AVAILABILITY by Alix Strauss

“This sharp and brilliant novel shows that truth cannot be seen from the
outside. You’ll absorb every anecdote’s last detail as real human connection
resurfaces and these women take steps to become the people they’ve always
dreamed they’d be.” – Elle

“Stellar….” – Publishers Weekly

“This is the classic read-it-in-one-big-gulp book. Or spend several days at the
beach with it; compelling from first page to last – edgy, moving, human.” – Liz
Smith.

“A mesmerizing novel. ….the characters in this moving novel are achingly
sympathetic, their plights imminently relatable.” – Booklist (starred review)

“These New York stories will remind some readers of Parker—as in Dorothy, not
Sarah Jessica.” Kirkus Review

Based Upon Availability delves into the lives of eight seemingly ordinary women,

each who pass through Manhattan’s swanky Four Seasons Hotel. While offering
sanctuary to some, solace to others, the hotel captures their darkest and
twisted moments as they grapple with family, sex, power, love, and
death. Trish, a gallery owner, obsesses over her best friend’s wedding and
dramatic weight loss. Robin wants revenge after a lifetime of abuse at the hands

of her older sister. Anne is single, lonely, and suffering from
obsessive-compulsive disorder. Drug-addicted rock star Louise needs to dry out.
Southerner-turned-wannabe Manhattanite Franny is envious of her neighbors’
lives. Sheila wants to punish her boyfriend for returning to his wife. Ellen so
desperately wants children, she’s willing to pretend to be pregnant. And Morgan,

the hotel manager— haunted by the memory of her dead sister—is the thread that
weaves these women’s lives together. In this an utterly original read, I try to

ask and answer the age-old question; ‘what happens behind closed doors’ while
examining the walls we put up as we attempt intimacy, and inspecting the ruins
when they’re knocked down.

Alix Strauss
Journalist/Author
www.alixstrauss.com

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Do you ever have those days when you just don’t know what to do with yourself?

I feel like I’m spinning my wheels a bit. I’ve been having troubles getting into any particular book, and I want, desperately, to finish something. I first drafted “Grey lady” and am now writing another short story, about a young woman named Aziza who is a “bell witch”…she walks through her village at night, the bells she wears scaring off evil. So, at least I’m writing, but gah. Let’s finish one of my 13 books, shall we Miss Muse?

I know how very fast time goes, and the fact that it’s already the end of May makes me wonder if I’m going to meet my goal of completing another book. I’m not doing very well, because I forget that we find a million ways to fill out time…re-doing the filing system (Which is done! Yay!) cleaning the computer, re-doing the bathroom. I need to make myself set blocks of time aside better.

I did manage, however, to finish my bodice for Saturday’s SCA event. The costume is in evolution, I originally used a very sheer cloth to make the shirt and skirt, and now I regret it, because while it is lighter – it breathes very nice, and I don’t feel dead so quickly – it is rather too sheer, and if you thought that having an over skirt would provide enough shadow/coverage so that people couldn’t see your legs through the skirt, then, like I once was, you are mistaken.

So, gauze. I’m making my next blouse and underskirt out of gauze. At least the skirt. I can’t fence in a gauze shirt. I will photograph as soon as the bodice is ironed.

So, that’s it. My brain is sort of clogged up with the Pirate event that I’m helping with, sewing, fencing, reading, renovating the house, taking care of the garden. (The Irises look fabulous! I need to show them to you.) But these things, they are also in sort of a holding pattern. My father, we just have to wait until he heals. Fencing, I have to just wait and hope that I am doing the right things to make the club strong. The other stuff is all, well, you pick it up, you work on it until you can’t.

The good news is that despite the fact that I have apparently declared this the Summer of Self Improvement…where I am working on everything to see how much better I can make it…I am regaining my calm. I have this image, I’ve always had, of this pool of cool, calm water in my chest, over my heart. In the past, when I needed to, I was able to dip into that water, concentrate on it, and remind myself to be cool and calm…to have grace under fire. Between all the things that I won’t bore you with my reiterating, I’ve had cups taken out of that pool, but never at any time was there a point where I was able to tap into something to refill that pool. When I wasn’t upset about something, or wired up, I was asleep. Since last September my life has been a roller coaster of crazy, and I look back with regret at how skitzy I must have seemed to the people around me, because I used to be so proud of how calm I am. Dignity and decorum – those used to be my watchwords.

Note: I do act dramatic about things to be funny. Because I’m a nutter. And no matter what has happened in my past, when things are really, really bad, I still become dead calm. So, I guess the rule of thumb is, if I’m cussing and festering over it, it’s not really horridly bad. If I seem to be handling it with a serious, calm voice, taking it in steps, you should be worried.

Well, maybe not, since I intend to be more like that now. But we know what intentions are, right?

Anyway, point is, it feels SO good to be calm again. To sit and think of the lake inside of me, quiet and inviting, and know that I feel like I’m in control, like I’m ready to walk my path.

Maybe, to get back to my complaint about writing, the fact is, that I am in a healing process, and as I recover everything will start snapping back into place. It already is…I’m slowly recovering ground that I had lost, rebuilding everything. I’ve not gone through a lot, not compared to some people, God bless them, but I’ve gone through enough, trying desperately to juggle all of my goals and responsibilities. So, the moral of the story, if there is ever a moral to my maunderings, is to do one’s best, to try and be happy when one can, and to let life roll on – not over you – and just keep breathing.

Now that all that is out of my head, let’s see if I can get any writing done.

PS. The subject line is from a Tanya Donnelly’s “Landspeed Song”

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I am suddenly in a very good mood. Well, it started…sort of…last night, half way through my last event of the semester, the honors dinner for the department. Half way through any event, you’ve gotten to the point where everything that’s going to go wrong has – note the italics – most likely have happened.So you can relax, enjoy, and let yourself sort of unwind from the OMG SO MUCH TO DO fury of the day.

And, after the event was done, and I was all warm from good companionship and relief that everyone was happy, I realized something pretty spectacular. That that even was the last event of the semester. That aside from a couple of pizza parties, I am completely done with events, and now can concentrate on things like catching up, cleaning up, and going through my files. (My next project is to clean my files, and color code them using the lovely rainbow of pretty colored folders I’ve bought. )I feel so much better, like I’ll be able to regain balance and control over my life. I hope, at least. The next event is in September, when we do the piracy event, so I’ll probably work on that over the summer.

I just feel so relieved. And eager. And bright, like the sky has cleared and things will be smoother for a now.

Of course, by posting this, I’ve just thoroughly cursed myself…

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I’ve been a secretary for three years, now. I think I think I am loved mostly because I’m darned lucky, but many, just maybe, some of these things have helped me, and maybe they’ll help you.

I like being a secretary, oddly enough. I like trying to be effective and organized – like some 1950’s stereotype.

Thirteen Things about being a successful secretary
1. Smile when you pick up the phone. No one sees it, but the smile carries and adds warmth to your voice.2. You will always need: A sewing kit, spray cleaner, aspirin and ibuprofen, band aids, Neosporin, hydrocortisone cream, little pudding packs (for the aspirin), tissues, and tea. These are things that help you run your department smoothly, and impress people with your efficiency. If you can show that you want to take care of the people around you, they will feel like this place is a home. We actually have a first aid kit that we bought from Office Max, too, and I always try to keep a couple of non frozen food items that will give the people who forgot their lunch something to eat.

3. Apologize right away, even if the mistake wasn’t yours. People will think what they will think anyway, and if you apologize, then they stop looking for ways to cover their own backsides and you can move on to finding a solution to the problem.

4. Meet people in the eyes when they talk. Try, even when you’re stressed, to mile and make sure that they know you are looking forward to doing the task. Of course it’s a lie. But it’s so much better if you look confident and willing. When people call you, smile when you enter their office. In everything you do, you want to deliver a message that you are happy to do things for them.

5. Have a drawer where you can throw your stuff every night. This is one of those “if you can” suggestions. In my workplace, I have a very deep drawer, a file drawer, really, and no pen drawers. I use it for pens, envelopes, etc, but at the end of the night everything goes into it until I have a neat and clean desk again. Leaving your workspace neat will make everyone think that you are together, and, as a bonus, will make you feel good when you sit down at your desk.

6. If your workplace allows it or can afford it, try to get color files. I love mine, and they make organization easier.

7. They key to everything is organization. Keep every email…you can file them in folders in most programs…keep every attachment. You never know when someone will ask you for something…and trust me, what they ask you for is always the thing you were sure they wouldn’t need. Keep good records.

8. Never, ever talk about the people you work with to other people you work with. Allegiances change. I know a couple of departmental secretaries who regret some of the things that they said. Also, when people realize that you keep your mouth closed, they will say things in your hearing. A good secretary likes knowledge.

9. Use lots of signs. Know that no one will ever read them. But at least they feel stupid when you smile sweetly and point it out – but, also, try to keep them neat and nice looking, use Publisher to make them extra nice. Keeping your work area looking clean and professional (even if it can’t always be neat) is important to morale.

10. Try to act deferential even when you don’t feel it. People try to take the arrogant down, but sometimes they raise the (mostly) meek up. It makes you seem easier to get along with, and then you can concentrate on your work in peace. I like to go for the invisible in the background thing…even though I’ve gotten away from it a bit.

11. Don’t assume you will remember it. A running to do list can save your life. I also leave everything in my email inbox until it’s finished, then file it.

12. Thank people whenever you get the chance. If someone in another department has done a lot for you, email them and say that you really appreciate what they’ve done. At the end of every email asking people to do something, thank them for their help. People need encouragement, it makes their burden lighter.

13. Every once in awhile, do something fun or silly. If your work environment permits it, get people to go in with you for pizza, and sit around and have a good talk with your office mates. Ask questions that have little to nothing to do with work, and listen.
!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Last night, the power was out when I got home, so I spent much of the time wrapped up by a window, a kerosene lamp on the table by me, while I sketched out ideas for my latest writing project.  I got a lot done, scribbling ideas, drawing the rough shape of the world map, trying to remember the names of locations. 

It was a quiet, cold time, I was bundled up warm, and with the power out there was no hum of the DVD player or the distant roar of the furnace kicking on.  There was no ambient light from clock radios, just the window and the flame of the lamp, smoky and smelling strongly in the cold still of my room.  The scritch of my pen, my breath, the shuffle of paper were the main sounds.

After an hour and a half or so, I was too tired to do any more, so I blew out the lamp, and curled up to nap.

Which, of course, is when the power came back on.

I was asked to go and pick up one of the job candidates, so I got up extra early so I could buy gas and maybe grab some fast food to eat after I delivered the lady to her meeting with the Dean.  The roads were terrible…a coating of ice overlay many of them, and sometimes I drove only 30 miles an hour.  Slowly I managed to gain a little more speed, but every time I decided to try and put on real speed and drive like normal, I would see skid marks on the road leading to the grass covered median, or, twice, a car that had spun completely around and backed up a hill.

This was the sort of day I would have wanted to stay home.  Or gone late.  When I passed my turn off for work, I whimpered a little, because I would have given a great deal to have been able to creep down that lane and gotten here.

But, I braved it out.  Prayed a lot.  (Funny…you would think that going 30 when you usually go 70, you’d be all impatient and thinking how damned slow this is.  Nope.  Time goes just as fast when you’re going 30 scared breathless as when you’re going 70 singing along to the mp3 player.  Faster, in some ways.)

So, I am here.  I earned about an hour extra, so I’m a going home that much earlier today, and it’s a three day weekend.  Yay!

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It’s Friday. It’s Reading Day. Why the heck did I come in through all these crappy roads again? No one is here.

Oh, that’s right. Because students need to make up tests. Yes. I also promised my workers they could make up hours, but since I could just have said screw it, and given them the hours as a reward for work done, that doesn’t really count.

Another not-fun commute that does not look as if it will be improving in time for my 3:00 lunch break. (My awesome boss already told me that a 3:00 lunch break sounds “just perfect”…but I think I’ll be watching the weather with an eye for homeward bound. I honestly don’t know if I should be getting home before it gets worse, or waiting to see if they plow the damned roads. I’ll give the kidlets until noon to make up their tests. After, all bets off.)

Yay, according to the forecast, it’s going to RAIN this afternoon. *sighs, because she has no idea what she should do…she doesn’t want to be a coward, or a fool….*

Let’s not talk about the weather anymore. You’re all probably bored cross eyed.

What should I talk about then?

Nothing. I’m going to go write something nifty.

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Today was notable. When I got to work, the power was out, so I schmoozed with my co-workers, then went to the file room and cleaned. I really liked it; I loved the half dark, the cool and the silence. I wished that the power hadn’t come back on, in some ways. But, neat of neat, got my first royalty statement…huzzah! How did I do? I could buy a paperback book. New-used.

Then I went for lunch with a couple of friends, which was wonderful, partly because I get to spend time with one of them (the husband is one of my faculty members) but never really with the wife, who I think is awesomeness itself. So that was really wondrous. I am lucky that in my job I have met some really fine and brilliant people.

Then I got to leave a half hour early because the power needed to be shut down again.

Then…

My tire went flat. As a pancake. The one time I could go home early, I have to change a tire, with the help of a very nice man. Bah.

Then I realized it was really a blessing. The half hour gave me time to get to the cheap and reliable tire place before it closed. So, thank God. Another example of what seems to be ill luck, but really is a blessing.

Three things that make me happy:

Jean Reno. I just watched a very silly movie called “Just Visiting”, where he plays a 12th century count who gets sent to the year 2000. I could listen to his voice for ages. And he is just…one of those people you love to spend time with.

The fact that I was able to clean out one of my filing cabinets so that I could dedicate it to my patterns – if you’ve ever tried to stuff a used pattern back into an envelope, you know what a pain in the arse that is. Now I will put them in large envelopes and file them when I am done. Bonus – now it’s way easy to find my patterns when I want to refer to them. I do that a lot, if I see a fabric on eBay I think has potential, or if I want to know if I have something, like, if one of my patterns has a close enough equivalent to trunk hose for me to work with.

Getting books in the mail. I love opening a mail box and seeing a jiffy bag, especially this time of year, when I tend to buy tons of books used. I often forget what I’ve ordered, so it’s always a slight surprise. I especially am a sucker for Dorling Kindersley. What’s not to love about huge picture books? Especially since the one I’m getting for the holiday, Weapon is filled with full color, drooly pictures of swords. Yum. Buying books is my vice, my comfort food, my retirement plan.

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I am not having a successful work day. Just so much to wade through. Ugh. And no, not one whit, desire or ambition. Ugh.

I wanted to show you a link to a review.

It’s not a bad review, but you can tell the story didn’t really enthuse. I’m grateful to her, though, for the time and effort she spent. I know writing book reviews is not easy or always fun.

Reviews don’t bother me…well, maybe it’s early in the game to say that…but I know a couple things about reviewing that I think will make it easier to accept the less than thrilled reviews, or the plain disappointed ones. I know what people are thinking, generally, when they are reviewing. I know that good reviewers get more books than they know what to do with, and sometimes that means their time is limited.

And, well, if there are people who aren’t absolutely in love with Neil Gaiman or Barbara Hambly, chances are there are people who won’t love my work, as well.

Last night I went to the symphony…the Pittsburgh Symphony came to the Uni last night. I got to go with Laura and Mike, which was really brilliant. I didn’t get to talk to her as much as I would have liked, but because Mike and I were with The Dean, we got really good seats! What was really wonderful was that Mike and I got to talk. It is so good to have a friend in a person like that.

The music was mostly really wonderful. It was truly an experience to have the music wash back to you, to hear the sound and feel the vibrations and actually see people working away on their instruments. You know that a great deal of effort and talent goes into creating such beauty, but you become really convinced of it when you watch them up close.

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