Still not king

Friday, July 28th, 2017 11:51 am
rolanni: (Default)

. . .nor dead yet, either, to the apparent disappointment of some.  I don't suppose this is the only career in which we eat our elders, still. . .

So, let's see. . .

First, thank you so much to all of the supporters of our Patreon fund, particularly today, because -- you made the funding goal this month.  Give yourselves a big hand and, for those who are limber, a pat on the back.  Steve and I really appreciate your generosity.*

On the writing front, I have decided to indeed to push on to the end of the scene, rather than hold back and hope that being in media res would make re-immersion after the projected break easier.  'Twas the tea tin that did it, and you all now know what to blame.

On the all-important clothes front, I see that my problem of having too many t-shirts is solving itself, and the timing couldn't be better, what with a convention and a time among the tourist attractions coming right up.  rubs hands in anticipation

Y'all do know that Steve and I will be writer Guests of Honor at Confluence next weekend, right?  (Here's the link.)  Among the other festivities, Steve will be doing a reading from a work not yet announced.  I will be reading "Emancipated Child," which I've never had a chance to read to a live audience, so I'm very excited, and!  I will also be. . .giving? my rant regarding the writing of "believable female characters," which is something I thought I'd never do again, but -- never say never.

Steve and I will also be doing a GOH presentation, a kaffeeklatsch, a Friends of Liad breakfast (not a con-event; every attendee pays for their own breakfast), and lots and lots of stuff -- and that's just us!  Honest, you've gotta come to Confluence, if you possibly can; it's going to be a great weekend.

Here's your link to the main program schedule.

Steve's schedule is here.

And, here's my schedule.

Looking to see you -- yes, you! -- there!

And now. . .to work, with a side order of prelim packing.

*This does not mean that we are not appreciative of the generosity of All The Rest of You -- we are very grateful for all and everything you do.  Thank you!


rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

Business first!  If, for some reason, you should happen to need, or want, a "press kit" regarding upcoming Liaden Universe® novel Alliance of Equals, you may find it here.

You will note that the information states that Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore will once again be the sole source for signed and/or personalized copies.  You will also note that Uncle Hugo's has not yet opened pre-orders for this title.

Uncle Hugo's is an independent bookstore with limited resources and staff.  Right now, they're very busy (as you might imagine) coping with the orders for signed copies of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (go here, if you want one of those, too).  They would rather not get mixed up -- and you -- and we! -- would rather they didn't get mixed up.

Since we don't want to break the staff, and the staff wants to give good customer service, and also bearing in mind that Alliance. . . has a publication date of July 5, we consulted with Mr. Blyly, who consulted with staff, and!

Uncle Hugo will open pre-orders for signed and/or personalized editions of Alliance of Equals by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, on March 1.

So, hold onto your horses, and your credit cards.  Mark your calendars.  We will, of course, shout it from the rooftops, when the pre-orders open.

Thank you for your patience, and your enthusiasm.  Steve and I appreciate it immensely.

* * *

In other news, Steve and I have started to read Terry Pratchett's Mort to each other in the evening.

Also, I discovered yesterday that the piercing in my left ear had closed up, and I had to break a thin layer of skin in order to insert an earring.  I've gotten out of the habit of wearing earrings -- actually have lost my taste for long, dangling earrings, but I don't want to give up the option of wearing studs -- or, yanno, even return to long, dangles of a day or evening.  So!  I guess I'd better remember to put in earrings -- I have a pair of pearl studs that are the most comfortable earrings I've ever had, and a pair of aquamarine studs that Steve gave me.  Other than that, I would appear to be studless.


Oh, wait!  I'm going to Boskone next month!  Perhaps I will be able to solve this tragic wardrobe deficiency.

I think that's it -- well, no.  We here at the Cat Farm currently abide under a Winter Storm Watch, until 10 am tomorrow.  Predictions are for snowfall from four to twelve inches, depending on where we exist in Mid-Maine's ever-shifting geography.  I'm hoping to see four inches, which might not cause a cancellation of Tai Chi and pickleball, but will not be surprised to see eight inches, which might make it more problematical for the Y to open.

And that?  really is all I've got.

Here, have a picture of Belle, being awake:

Belles awake no really Jan 10 2016

Today's blog title brought to you by David Bowie and Mick Jagger:  Dancing in the Street.  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Mozart Easter 2009)

This morning, we got up early (for the third morning in a row.  Yes, I have a call in to the Auditing Department.), in order to adorn Princess Jasmine Sprite in her travel regalia -- the sparkly pink-and-purple leash, the red harness, the royal ladybug ruff, this morning augmented by the sable fleece blanket.

Her Highness had, sadly, forgotten the appointment she had directed Staff to make with her physician, and, as I gathered her up in my arms and started for the kitchen door, she made one loud, anguished cry that sounded for all the world like, "Dad!"

We settled in the passenger side, and she managed to work herself into quite a state by the time we reached her physician's office, where she immediately transformed herself into a Frozen Not-There Cat for the duration of the physical.

She is, as we suspected, Perfectly Healthy, weighing just a whisker (almost literally; coon cat whiskers are. . .not insubstantial) under 15 pounds.  She received her two-year distemper vaccination and was given a chip, which puts her in the vanguard of Feline Technology at the Cat Farm.

Princess Sprite is now resting comfortably on the blue rug (her Turkey carpet, formerly Trooper's Turkey carpet, formerly Sharon's Turkey carpet) in my office, after a brief sojourn in her Secret Aerie to recruit her strength and recharge her Princess Powers.

The mail had been delivered at home by the time we returned.  The mail consisting of two books, and! my new waterproof, lined, winter gloves from Duluth Trading Company.  I am remiss in reporting that my slip arrived yesterday, as did our Yule gift to each other -- a case of mixed wines from

I think that leaves two shipments outstanding, which I expect to see next week.

Speaking of yesterday, it turns out that though pickleball is on the schedule at the Champions Fitness Club in Waterville on Tuesdays and Thursdays, attendance is sporadic.  I went in yesterday, hoping for a game, waited around for half-an-hour, nobody showed, so I left to do errands.  Sigh.  Next opportunity to sport the pickle -- Wednesday morning.

I did learn yesterday that, if I decide to make enough of a habit of pickleball that I'll want my own equipment, I will not want a wooden paddle.  The paddle I was loaned last Wednesday was aluminum, I suppose, and it was like an extension of my hand; I hardly knew I was holding a paddle.  The wooden Club paddles weigh a ton, and I can see it wearing my wrist out inside of a (short) game.

Hmm.  I wonder if I can play left-handed, anymore.  Over the years since the nuns changed my handedness, I've become more and more right-hand-oriented.  Something to experiment with, I guess.

After supper yesterday, Steve and I drove out to Skowhegan, on purpose to visit the New Balance Factory Store, Steve being in the way of wanting a pair of tennis shoes -- about which more in a moment.  I did not intend to buy tennis shoes, myself, but a pair of blue cross-trainers with orange laces called my name and I did not resist long.  I'm wearing them right now, and myghod, they weigh nothing.  Maybe I'll be able to fly again, like when I was a kid in the first new sneakers of summer.

But!  We were speaking of tennis shoes.

I asked the young lady on the floor at New Balance for "tennis shoes," and she obligingly showed me the tennis shoes on offer, helpfully pointing out the pivot point on the sole.  Because "tennis shoe" is a technical term.

I chewed my lip for a minute, and then said.

"Back in the dark ages, we called all the kid's casual canvas shoes tennis shoes.  Nobody really played tennis in them.  There's another word -- sneakers?  Soft shoes that are not created for a single task, but that you can walk and play games in?  I'm looking for sneakers."

"Oh," she said.  "Cross-trainers.  Right over here."

On the one hand, good on her for being patient and guiding me to what I really wanted.  On the other hand, I feel like I'm needing to give a history lesson every time I want to buy something, lately.  Anybody else having this. . .experience, or am I just hopelessly behind the curve?

And! For those who Await, a photo of -- no, not the new sneakers -- Princess Sprite and Trooper, doing the taxes.

Sprite and Trooper do the taxes Jan 6 2016
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

The Big News from Cat Farm and Confusion Factory Management on this January Saturday is the fact that the power went out at 5:01 am, waking Management from a sound sleep.  The house makes several Complaining Noises when the power goes, which are quite plaintive in the Overall Unnatural Silence, thus, Management was awakened.

At 5:02 am, the generator rumbled to life, and moments after, the house came back on-line.

What an incredible feeling of relief.

Management would like to thank everyone who participated in the Great Generator Caper of 2015.  Without your encouragement and active support, we would not have taken on the expense of installation.  You made us believe that it was not only possible, but that we would be able to pay off the debt.

So, yes -- thank you! For that feeling of relief, for the warmth and the food that wasn't lost, and for those extra three hours of sleep, after the house cried out in its distress.

. . .In other news, I own a skirt -- an ankle-length black skirt that I've had for a while now, and which I on several occasions wished to wear, except that?  I couldn't find a slip.  It's been. . .Rather a While since I've owned a skirt, or a dress, and the slips that went with them were long-ago donated to Goodwill.

Do you know how hard it is to find slips, anymore?  I finally bought one at Amazon, having exhausted all my other, usual vendors.  I mean, c'mon, KMart used to sell slips!  But not anymore.  Or, at least, not anymore in my part of Maine.

So, that mission accomplished, and I also bought a couple books, while I was there and all.  Note to self:  stop buying books.  No, really.

Yeah, that's gonna work.

But!  What's notable about these expenditures is that, having purchased, let it be clear, an ankle-length slip, and two books -- a biography of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, and a graphic novel entitled The Sculptor -- I received in my inbox, a Special! One! Time! Offer! of a Free Gift! from Amazon, which was --

A digital copy of Kung Fu Panda.

Seriously, Amazon?

I mean, my deeply negative feelings for Jack Black aside, what, exactly, in that purchase persuaded your algorithms that I would in any way be receptive to receiving a copy of Kung Fu Panda?

I respectfully submit that you need to do a little work behind the nose.

And don't you dare send a copy of Kung Fu Panda to any of my devices.  Things will get Very Ugly if you try.  Thank you.

And, now, having washed the dishes and doodled around on the web, it's time to deploy the Cat Eating Machine.  Poor cats; they were being so comfy together in the living room.


Needs must.

Hope your Saturday is both comfortable and productive.

Here, have a picture of the Lights in early evening at the Maine Botanical Gardens:

early lights dec 19 2015
rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

So, yesterday. . .

I had some bagels from the bakery down on Bay Street.  Let me just say. . .Worst. Bagel. EVER.  Steve asked me what was wrong with it.  I said, "Christian bagel."  Seriously, bagels shouldn't crumb like bread.  Also? Ideally, they should taste like. . .bagels.

Anyhow, I gave Steve a ten dollar bill and asked him to please stop at Bagel Mania on his way home from getting his car's oil changed and tires rotated to buy me some REAL bagels.

Ten bucks buys 15 bagels from Bagel Mania, most of which are now residing in the freezer, but of course I held some out for Immediate Consumption, and had one for breakfast this morning.  Mmmmm, bagel.

After the Great Bagel Influx, and lunch, we went down to the contractor's office, credit card in hand, and put half down on the generator.  It has to be ordered in, so the installation date at this point is the ever-popular "couple of weeks."  Part of today's excitement will be to call the propane company and get ourselves on their radar.

Then we went for a Plot Drive, up and aroundish, through Athens, Harmony, Canaan, and suchlike.  Back home, I discovered Yet Another communication from the ACA, instructing me to immediately do something that it was impossible to do, even though meticulous following of their directions did not produce the described result (Honest to ghu, the ACA has gotten me to the point that I doubt my own sanity.  I had Steve come into my office to read and follow the instructions, and -- they didn't work for him, either.  What a relief.)

After that, we threw in the towel and watched Big Hero 6.  The coon cats are big Baymax fans, while Scrabble's hero is GoGo.

Today started with a phone call to the ACA to be Perfectly Sure that the urgent email could be ignored.  Then, I called the local health insurance provider and had them go through my regular meds, and. . .today I will regretfully be moving my prescriptions to Hannaford, where the cost for all three will be $0, as opposed to $110.

I'm really ambivalent about this; I've been with CVS since we moved to Waterville -- twenty years and counting -- but money talks.

And I'm really ambivalent about that.

For those who may have an interest, the Seventh and Last Week of the Do It Like A Delm Challenge began yesterday!  We have three entrants so far, but we're waiting to see yours!

Here's a link to the rules.

Here's a link to this week's entries thus far.

Speaking of Doing It Like A Delm, Offworld Designs is (again) taking orders for Liaden Universe® t-shirts, polos, and long-sleeve denim.  In addition to looking positively delm-like on you, these shirts make fine presents.  I hear there's a Big, Present-Giving Holiday coming up in a few months -- and here's the thing you need to pay attention to:  OffWorld Designs makes embroiders and screenprint these to order.  That means that they wait until they have a Big Pile of orders before doing the printing and embroidery.  So you want to order early (and often) if you want to be sure to have gifts for Christmas.

Here's your link to Offworld Designs Liaden Universe® infopage.  NOTE:  you need to click the thumbnails for pricing and product details.

In Weather News, we here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory are at about a week of rain, starting this afternoon, so if I want to go into town, I'd better get moving.

Here, have a picture of Trooper waiting for the rain.

Trooper's not worried about no stinkin' rain.Trooper's not worried about no stinkin' rain.

rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

As most of you know, Steve and I started a Patreon account back in the early part of the year (it's here, if you'd like to take a look), and we've slowly been slipping a little into the community over there.  As mentioned elsewhere, we did an interview with John Mierau for Patreon, and on Friday, we participated in a "Hang Time" in which the CEO of Patreon, Jack Conte, Happiness Team member Taryn Arnold, and creator Shayla Maddox discussed innovations, plans, and the whole idea of patronage as a income stream for artists.

Regarding the patron model -- Shayla mentioned that she had "lost friends" when she set up her Patreon account, because some felt that it was unseemly for a creator to "beg" for money.  Jack responded that, if the patronage model was good enough for Mozart, it was good enough for him, and launched into a riff regarding How It Had Been (a rich person would find an artist/creator, like what he was doing, and give him money to continue doing it), to how it is now (an artist/creator sells their work to a middleman, who then tidies it up, distributes it, and splits the take, with the artist/creator getting the lesser split, even though without the artist/creator the middleman would have nothing to distribute, and therefore no profit.  Which is kind of a Yeah, But. . .).

They also touched on the phenomenon of artists feeling that they always need to "give" in order to receive -- we talked about this in our interview, too.  It was a fascinating discussion, and I'm glad we took the time to participate.

In line with that, Steve and I are thinking about something we might do, first for Patreon subscribers, and then into general circulation, so to be speak.  We need to figure out if We Have The Technology, and/or Can We Easily Acquire and Learn to Use The Technology.  Watch the skies.

In the Real World, and still on the general subject of Patreon, the contractor's estimate for installing the generator has arrived.  It's looking like right around $6,000 to purchase and install the generator itself, including the pad, and the wiring, and the switch, and etcetera.  Now that we have this in-hand, along with an estimated date of installation, we can call Dead River and find out how much it will cost to install the propane tanks, and fill them.

At This Point In Time, given the Total Craziness and Complete Uncertainty surrounding my health insurance costs and what will have to be "paid back" to the Federal Government with our 2015 taxes, we are putting 50% of all income received into the tax account.  Hopefully, this will prove to be an over-reaction, but we really, really don't want to be caught short of tax money, given the depleted condition of the general treasury.

We do again want to thank everyone who pitched in to help get us through this (hopefully brief) period of financial disarray, and give us the freedom to move forward with the installation of the generator.  PayPal, Patreon, checks in the mail, cheerleading -- it all helps immensely and is very much appreciated.

In other news -- InstaGram tells me that there is a way for me to convert my WordPress blog into a "beautiful and compliant" epub or mobi file. While I'm willing to believe that of course any such conversion will be beautiful, I'm pretty sure that it won't be compliant. Just a feeling. . .

In Exciting News, we have a winner for Week Six of the Do It Like A Delm Challenge -- Elaine Walker!  See the winning photograph, with links to All the Challengers, from Week One forward, right here.

Tomorrow, Monday, September 28, starts the Final Challenge Week.  If you were thinking about enlisting in the Challenge -- this is your last chance!

Also!  Wednesday is September 30.  Do you know where your copy of A Night In The Lonesome October is?

And, for the curious, a cameo shot of the Pink Robe:

The pink robe, modeled by Sharon Lee. Photo by Steve MillerThe pink robe, modeled by Sharon Lee.
Photo by Steve Miller

rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

Where was I?

Ah, yes, the ACA/CHO nexus of confusion.

I spoke to CHO yesterday, only to learn that the latest determination they had from the ACA was only the next-to-latest determination.  The rep at CHO recommended that I call back on Monday (sigh), when they should have the Best and Latest Intel on-hand.  In the meantime, and on the subject of Small Blessings, the rep was able to tell me my maximum monthly payment, should I, indeed, have no government subsidies.  That amount would be just a smidge under $700/month, for insurance for myself alone, which is. . .ghastly, but not nearly as terrible as I had feared.

So, that.

In other news, Winter is coming and I ordered in a winter robe to replace the one that is worn out.  The new robe is pink.  I believe that this may be the first time in my adult life that I have purchased an article of clothing that is pink.  Nothing against pink, necessarily, it's just that I prefer red, and purple, and green, and blue, and black.  In the genre of robes, I fixated on blue as the Only Proper Color for a bathrobe back when I was a pre-teen and got my first floor-length chenille robe.  For many years thereafter, I was of the belief that chenille was the Only Proper Material for a robe, as blue was the Only Proper Color.  Poverty and availability forced me into flexibility on both counts, though I think I only descended to plaid once, when, the need being acute, I bought a men's flannel robe at a flea market for fifty cents.  Nowadays, I find fleece a far better choice for a winter robe, and the new robe is that, and floor length, too, as well as having been on sale, so I'm calling a Shopping Win.

Also -- Josephine Baker.  Here's a short bio.

Here's a longer bio, with video.

And here's a link to the song, "I'm in love with Josephine Baker," which is not on youtube, Fossil having apparently been insufficiently beloved in their day.  The song is embedded in the blog On the Radio, in which it is also discussed, I think unfairly; but read it yourself and decide.

Tomorrow morning, I need to go into town to the grocery and to the REstore, since I didn't do that today.  Then, home again and to work.  Maybe we'll knock off early on Sunday and watch a movie.  That could work.

What do y'all have planned for the weekend?

rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

So, what a day!

First, the mail:  If there were no checks in today's mail, there were at least no bills.

Also!  My new pedometer arrived, which it wasn't supposed to until Friday, and I'm very glad it did because today! was the day that my old pedometer, which had been tottering along for some weeks, showing half-numbers and fuzzy screens, this despite a new battery -- died the real death.  The new pedometer is blue (Sprite picked it out), and has a slightly larger screen, while being itself slightly smaller overall than the now-deceased machine.  Set up was extremely easy and there's a simple lock/unlock switch to get into the battery compartment, instead of a teensy-tiny little set screw, as in the previous model.

Maisie Dobbs was also in today's mail from my good friends at Yankee Clipper Used Books.  As is often the case with them, the book appears to be brand-new. This is speedy, speedy service, as I only placed my order on Sunday.

Finding ourselves so very fortunate in the mail, I decided to drive in to town to do some errands, while Steve finished up his read of Alliance of Equals, with an eye toward proposing some sell copy.  When I left, he was being ably assisted by Sprite, who aspires to a career of writing promotional copy from home, in order to make millions, though she's not exactly clear on millions of what.  I'm sure she'll get it all worked out eventually.

In town, I actually found a pair of (women's) Columbia sandals to fit me at Super Shoes.  These sandals replace a pair of men's Columbia sandals from at least a decade ago, which had finally given up their soles.

A swing by KMart for some needed items, and likewise the grocery store, and so to home in plenty of time to join Steve for the midday meal.

After the meal, I did some online shopping -- I've decided to keep my hair purple/indigo for the next while, so I made an order at Overtone.  And, for those who were following the debate on Facebook, yeah, I bought the quick-drying pants of many pockets.

Not only that, but the Alien Artifacts/Were Kickstarter Joint Campaign is going great guns.  If you missed the announcement yesterday, here's the link.

And!  Lest I forget -- Steve and I will be announcing a little something different later in the week, so I guess that's a Watch the Skies.

Quite the exciting day, yes, indeed.

And now?  I need to do some work.

Sharon, purple hair, Selah Tea tshirt, Chattacon denim.  A plate of fashion, indeed.  Photo by Steve Miller.Sharon, purple hair, Selah Tea tshirt, Chattacon denim. A plate of fashion, indeed.
Photo by Steve Miller.

rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

Well, rats.

I had a dental appointment this morning, which I wasn't exactly looking forward to, being the fan that I am, though I was sorta looking forward to this afternoon, if you take my meaning.  Unfortunately, the dentist's office called at 8:30 with the news that my hygienist was out sick and could I reschedule?  In fact! the receptionist said, someone had just cancelled, and she could fit me into that slot -- would that be OK?  I said sure, thinking the cancellation would be sometime this week, rather than. . .

September 29.


Turns out Belle's a Crystals fan.  Who knew?

In World News, we are receiving reports that the Liaden Universe® shirts are arriving at their Forever Homes.  If your hasn't arrived yet, watch the skies.

In the interests of Compleat and Accurate Reportage in re ebookery, I must say that Smashwords has surprised me.  I received notice yesterday that the epub of Writing Neep that I created at D2D and then submitted to Smashwords, has been approved for their premium catalog.  This despite the lack of the Magic Words.  This is interesting.  Sadly, since it's already in distribution through D2D, I had to take it off sale, to avoid duplication.

Today's going to be a hot one here in East Winslow, the first in a series of progressively hotter days.  Well, it is summer; I guess we'll give it a couple high-80s/low-90s days.  The cats are already practicing being melted, and, honestly, I should get on with chores before I melt, though the dental cancellation threw me off.

Well, one more cup of coffee, and -- onward!

Belle taking her turn communing with the treasuresBelle taking her turn communing with the treasures

Today's blog post brought to you by The Crystals, at Belle's request:  Then He Kissed Me.  Here's your link.

rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

Asyouknowbob, Steve and I recently collaborated with Offworld Designs to produce Korval logo t-shirts, polo shirts and denim shirts.

We insisted that the tshirts be Properly Screenprinted, rather than speed printed, and that the polos and the denims be embroidered.  What this means is that the good folks at Offworld Design wait a while, until they have enough orders in hand to make a batch run reasonable.

We've just gotten a note from Offworld Design, stating that they have orders in-hand for 69 tshirts; 15 polos; 14 denim shirts, and that, at the end of next week, they will be taking those orders, and any additional orders that arrive beforehand, and doing the batch run.

These items will always either be in a state of preorder, or a state of being batched and mailed.  They will not, at this time, be regular stock-on-hand.

This means that, if you've been meaning to order a shirt, but haven't gotten around to it, now is the hour, unless you want to wait an indeterminate amount of time until 70ish orders have built up again and the second batch goes to screenprinting.

Here's your link to the Korval items at Offworld Design.  NOTE:  This link takes you to a search page.  In order to learn more about each shirt, and/or to order, you have to click on the shirt of your dreams; this action will take you to a detail page.

rolanni: (Clan Korval's Tree and Dragon)

Boy, the folks at Offworld Designs are cooking with gas today.

Now available for pre-order, the Whole Set:  t-shirt, polo shirt, denim shirt.

Here's your link.

rolanni: (Clan Korval's Tree and Dragon)

The all-new Liaden Universe® t-shirt is now available from Offworld Designs, in sizes S-5X.

NOTE!  Because we insisted that the t-shirts be screen-printed the Old Fashioned Way, so that this run, too, has a chance of lasting better than a dozen years, a critical mass of orders must be reached before the company will do a shirt run.  You will not, therefore, receive your shirt at once! -- but you should get it pretty quick.

Here's your link.

rolanni: (agatha primping)

So!  The old, un-updating Chrome has been excised from my hard-drive. Everything else seems to be functioning as it ought.  I am, therefore, Officially Mighty, though what I mostly feel is exhausted.  Not that the operation itself was all that difficult, once undertaken, but the adrenaline rush was draining.

In other news, the other day I realized that all of the silly little mock-turtlenecks which are a staple of what I'm pleased to call "my wardrobe" have gotten. . .rather frayed.  And that there was a convention in my very near future.  So I went over to JC Penney online to see if they have amended their ways since the Old Boss got himself fired.  I had hopes that this was the case because I had, a couple of months ago, successfully purchased from them an pair of Saint John's Bay Jeans in TALL, just like in Olden Times.

To my great joy, it happened that Penney had restocked the mock-necks in size Tall, and I bought three of them -- red, grey, and blue-and-white stripe, because I like blue-and-white stripes, even if I am over 60 and no longer of a shape for stripes.  So I'm told.  I also bought -- because I could! -- a men's long-sleeve t-shirt with a tiger on it, because I also like tigers.  Why nobody thinks to put tigers on women's clothing is one of the Mysteries of the Universe.  They'd sell, like, a zillion of everything, if they did.

Anyhow, when the dust had settled (and I had talked myself out of buying two tiger t-shirts), the bill came to $59 (plus tax -- free shipping on all orders over $50, so yay!  Again, I am Mighty).

The shirts came today.  And they still had the tags on them.

The tiger t-shirt retailed at $40(!).  Each of the mock-necks was marked at $22.  In total, $106 in merchandise.

I saved $47.

I am not only Mighty, I am a Shopping Goddess.

And!  Though I was expecting the shirts to arrive today via UPS, I was not at all expecting the arrival of the 2015 Moon Phase Calendar, so that was a pleasant little surprise on the day.

And now. . .the cat fountain has been cleaned, the house has been vacuumed.  Steve is taking on the task of making dinner which will, I'm told,  Involve Tomatoes.

Time to get to work, I guess.

rolanni: (Carousel beauty)

So, a Carousel Tides t-shirt that I was holding for someone, because theirs hadn't arrived, is now available.  (The original shirt had apparently taken the route through Timbuktu and Solcintra, but did finally, as of yesterday, arrive.) If anyone wants an XL Carousel Tides t-shirt, please write to me at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom.  The price is $19 for the shirt + $5 shipping = $24.

Today, I did chores. I also finished the book I'd been reading in-between things -- Geisha, by Liza Dalby.  It's an interesting book, put together as a series of vignettes, which shouldn't work, but does; and makes for an easy in-between read.

After chores, I wrote!  New words, even!  According to my log, I haven't written a word on Carousel Sun since...August 3 -- the day of the Epic Flood.  How strange.

Speaking of the Flood and the aftermath thereto...tomorrow of course we host the plumbers and the flooring team.  For one halcyon hour, we also had the electrician scheduled for tomorrow, but he had a cancellation on Friday and moved us forward on the dance card.

Steve will actually be doing the lion's share of contractor-hosting.  I have a long list of errands to run, after which I may retire to the cloistered corridors of the Winslow Public Library, with Ox, and perhaps do some of that writing stuff again.  I should also see if the signal is strong enough at the library to allow my cellphone to function.  If so, it may be advertant to ask the librarian for use of a private room on Tuesday morning, so I can conduct my interview from a relatively quiet location.

*note to self:  take cellphone receiver*

And so we start the last week of summer. . .

Progress on Carousel Sun
20,223/100,000  OR 20.22% Complete

I'd ridden the kick into a spin, now I straightened, staring up into a wholesome round face that was at the moment wearing an expression more pained than pleasant.

rolanni: (great horned owl)

So, this morning I had some t-shirts to mail and some groceries to pick up. The business at the post office was uneventful, but as I was driving cross-town, I needed to stop at a red light on Kennedy Memorial Drive (locally KMD).  I was in the left lane, since I was going to be turning in at the shopping center half a block up the hill.

Except, while I was sitting there, patiently waiting for the light to go green, Binjali the Subaru gave a. . .shudder. . .

. . .and turned itself off.

Nor could I turn it back on.

Now, KMD at Cool is probably The Busiest Intersection in the Greater Waterville Megaplex.  There were lots of cars behind me, and more coming up the road.

I hit the hazard lights, grabbed my cell, got out of the car, waved people around and simultaneously called AAA.  After I explained what had happened, the customer service person asked me to please move the car over to the side of the road.  I told her that the car had stopped running and wouldn't start again, or else we wouldn't be having this conversation.  She said the tow truck would arrive in 50 minutes. I asked her to put a rush on it, and the arrival time went down to 25 minutes.  I told her I'd wait.

Followed the most frightening 15 minutes of my life.  People drive up KMD like it's a speedway, anyhow, but it's Utterly Amazing how many of them will drive up on a car that is sitting absolutely still at, like, 60 miles an hour until, at the Very Last Possible Second, they slam on their brakes.

Or -- even scarier -- whip the car into the right hand lane, without even looking to see is there a freaking tractor trailer already in the space they mean to occupy.

I honestly thought I was going to see dozens die in a multi-vehicle wreck.

I also honestly thought that, given the nature of the intersection, I would shortly be seeing a cop, who could help me with traffic -- or actually, who could DO the traffic, because nobody was paying attention to me.

No cop ever materialized.  The Goddess did, however, send me Tom, a volunteer fireman from Vassalboro, who swung his truck in behind mine at an angle, got out and said, "I'll just stay here with you 'til your tow comes, if that's all right?"

I allowed as how it was all right.

For some reason, people who couldn't see the little green Subaru had No Trouble At All seeing the Big Black Truck.

Just about the time Tom pulled in behind me, an SUV pulled up beside and the tatooed, pierced and henna'd woman behind the wheel asked if I had a flat.  I told her that I thought the battery'd quit.

"We can give 'er a hot shot," the fellow I assumed was her  boyfriend/ husband said from the passenger's seat.  "Get 'er off to the side of the road, 'fore you get killed."

They pulled in ahead of me, and produced a portable battery with cables.  Tom and the boyfriend got the hood up, and the driver valiantly tried to make a connection with the badly corroded terminals.

No go.

I thanked them, they wished me luck, and drove off.  Tom and I chatted until the tow truck arrived, cranked Binjali onto the bed and off we went to Harry Smith's.

There, the mechanic said, "Well, let's see if we can find out what the problem is."

I offered my opinion that the problem was probably the battery, which was wicked corroded.

He kind of nodded, not really listening, brought the hood up, and stood for a longish minute, looking down.

"Well," he said, "that's kinda your definition of wicked corroded, right there."

I explained that I'd been waiting to get a new battery until I got paid, and he nodded again.

"Looks like it's payday then, don't it?"

Guess so.

So, bottom line -- new battery, new alternator, four hunnert bucks on the credit card, and everything's good to go.

Steve arrived while the new battery was still charging, and we did the grocery shopping, then came home in time to meet with the plumber and work out with him what needed to be done to various feed lines and plumbing.  One of the revelations being that Waterville Custom Kitchens could probably "do us" a  vanity and new countertop for the space we have, which is, of course, a non-standard size.

So! After the plumber left us, Steve and I went back to Waterville, consulted with Tim at WCK and got that set up.  The bad news there is that it will take about 10 days to get the vanity built.

Across town we went, to the plumber's facility, where we picked out a faucet set and a new toilet, and confirmed that yes, the crew could and would pick up the vanity from WCK when it was done and bring it out to our house with them.

That done, we picked up my car from Mr. Smith, and came home.

I am now Officially Exhausted, the day is shot, and I would like the bathroom to repair itself, please.

Yeah, that's gonna happen.

*deep breath*

In other news, the auction for the notes from which Mouse and Dragon sprang is on for a scant two days and twenty-one hours.  Current bid is $157.50 for these priceless pieces of paper.  If you ever wondered what goes on inside a writer's head when she's in the midst of creation, this is your chance to find out!  Here's that link again.

Also!  All of the "extra" Carousel Tides t-shirts have found homes.  Thank you all!

rolanni: (carousel black)
Were you one of the folks who wanted an Archers Beach t-shirt, but the cash-flow wasn't cooperating?

Or!  Having received your t-shirt, are you regretting not having purchased a second?

If so, I can help you.

Going by the radio silence, everyone who ordered t-shirts  received theirs, so there's no need for me to hold onto the "if something gets lost in the mail" shirts any longer.

EDITED: I have the following quantities and sizes:
If you are interested in obtaining one of these really beautiful (and useful!) t-shirts, please drop me a note at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom.

rolanni: (Carousel yellow)

I spent part of the day counting t-shirts.  Tomorrow, I will speak with Himself and we'll be off to Stage Two!  Go us.

I spent another part of the day writing, and can officially declare that Carousel Sun is open for business.

Drum roll, please!

Progress on Carousel Sun:
1,222/100,000 OR 1.2% complete

The sun had been up for hours, which was more than I could say for myself.

rolanni: (Caution: Writing Ahead)

As Shoe once so wisely stated:  "Typists type. Writers stare out of windows."

So. . .I've been writing.

I've made some notes for Carousel Sun, figured out the park schedule and how much time has elapsed since the end of Carousel Tides, wondered whether Kate takes the Journal-Trib or the Port Press, and moved a bunch of CT research files and notes from out of the bottom file drawer of doom into a filing crate, for ease of access.

Among the notes are the lyrics for "Beech and Willow" (also known as "I have Four Sisters Beyond the Sea").  No, I don't know why.

I also found, in the same file, the following, which is gorgeous.  And, no, I don't know why I have it, either.

Her strong enchantments failing,
her towers of fear in wreck,
her limbecks dried of poisons
and the knife at her neck.

The Queen of air and darkness
begins to shrill and cry,
'O, young man, O my slayer,
to-morrow you shall die.'

O Queen of air and darkness,
I think 'tis truth you say,
and I shall die to-morrow;
but you will die to-day.

--A.E. Housman

Also, if anyone needs a recipe for Sour Fiddlehead Pickles, I've got you covered.

In other news, orders for the Archers Beach t-shirt have broken 100! If you have yet to score one of this summer's premier fashion statements, you have scant hours! to secure your place among the Beautiful People of 2012. Everything you need is right here.

It's been warmish today, for Maine values thereof. I hope that those of you in places where it's Unfotunately Hot stay cool and healthy.

And, now? Back to staring out the window writing.

rolanni: (i've often seen a cat without a smile)

First, the Reminder:

You have until 12 midnight Eastern Daylight Time tomorrow, Saturday, June 30 to order your Carousel Tides t-shirt.  Here's everything you need to know.  If you put a check in the mail and have not previously told me this, do it now, at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom.  Please include the size of the t-shirt you're ordering.

Now, the Progress Report:

So far, you guys have ordered 97! t-shirts.  That's awesome!

rolanni: (Yay!)

We’ve made the minimum order, folks.  Thank you so much!

T-shirt orders open through June 30.  Details here

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.

September 2017

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