Just when I thought the breaking was done, there were more problems. The hood on the outside wall over the dryer vent came loose and there was something wrong with the vent too. Then I noticed the shower was draining right. Andy, our plumber, has become like a part of the family now that he's been over so many times. Half the battle with having something break is finding the right person to fix it. Andy is great. So, this morning as I was go over the copy edit of BUT KNOT FOR ME, Andy was busy with the dryer vent which is located right next to the room I was working in.
It's not the first time I've had to deal with construction noises while I'm writing. I had roofers pounding over head once as I wrote parts of one the Crochet books. Several times I had plumbers pounding the bathroom floor in Chicago as I sat with my laptop.
It took over two hours, but the shower is clear and the dryer vent has a spiffy new outside hood and the the hose is clear. The only thing left is for me to clean out the area around the lint screen in the machine. The funny thing is I only use the dryer for socks and underwear. Everything else gets hung outside, but even with such little use, the years built up a lot of lint.
Noise, interruptions, new computers-- my watch words are just let it go and get on with it. And when it starts to get to me, I get some exercise or eat some spicy food and my world is good again.
Why is it that a lot of things seem to happen at once?
At least that’s what occurred when I received my most recent major edits for two books that will be published next year—the next in my Shelter of Secrets stories for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Guardian K-9 on Call, plus my first Alaska Untamed mystery, Bear Witness. And those occurred in addition to some other writing and editing obligations I had with deadlines, too.
I mentioned some of it in general in my blog post last week and otherwise, and I’ve remained busy.
Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve met the deadlines so far. Not always easy, especially since life tends to intrude.
But now I’m back to near normal with usual writing and editing. And family stuff, including taking care of my pup Cari, who does give me a lot of obligations, too—all good.
So, as I tend to say a lot, I’d better get back to all of those things I need to do.
I usually write my blog on Thursday, but I was otherwise occupied yesterday. We went to Disneyland for the first time in a year and a half. Before the pandemic shut it down and ended our annual l passes,, we went there probably a couple of times a month except during the summer when it was blacked out.
They changed the name of the annual passes to different kinds of keys and changed the rules. Now you have to have a reservation so no more last minute trips. Also no more plastic card to show when you go in. It's all on your phone in their app. No more tram from the parking lot. It's supposedly because of Covid, but I wonder if they will ever come back. Masks aren't required outside, but are inside.
I wondered how it would feel after not being there in such a long time. I also wondered how I would hold up with all that walking after not doing it in such a long time. The parking lot was the same, but there was a convoluted way we had to walk to get to security and the entrance to the walkway (which used to be where the trams went) that led to the entrance of the Disneyland and California Adventure. But once got to the where the trams would have dropped us off everything began to look the same.
Once inside the parks, it didn't feel strange at all. It also didn't feel like it had been so long since I'd been there. If anything it felt reassuring and normal. The temperature was in the mid seventies and just comfortable As for the walking-- my watch keeps track and I clocked in over 7 miles and actually even didn't mind the walk back to the parking lot. It was a bummer that the very long, steep escalator to the level we were on wasn't working and I had to walk up the escalator stairs which are harder than regular stars. But though winded, I recovered fast.
We already have reservations for the next time in a week.
I've noticed how good it feels to be doing more things that feel regular like being able to eat at IKEA and go inside Porto's bakery instead of having to order in advance and go through a bunch of maneuvers to pick it up in the parking lot. The masks seem normal now and I always carry a package of the disposable ones in my purse.
And now it's back to finishing the copy edit of BUT KNOT FOR ME and writing the next Writer for Hire mystery.
I had some exciting news from my publisher that Amazon is doing some special promoting of ONE FOR THE HOOKS.
While working on other things, I received edits back on two upcoming novels, both with quick due dates. Guess what I’m working on now!
And that also means I don’t have time for many other things. Plus, they’re from two different publishers who have different ways of sending near-final drafts and how they want my changes and comments.
Therefore, I’d better get back to them. But it’s always fun to visit Killer Hobbies. And, yes, both of these stories also have dogs.
But in the meantime I'm writing the next Writer for Hire book and I working on the the copy edit for BUT KNOT FOR ME. My editor said he thinks its the best one yet. I was worried about how it was going to be working on the new computer and was sticking with my familiar laptop. But the only place to work on the laptop was on a couch in the crossroads of my house which meant, lots of noise, people talking to me and cats coming for a visit. Add to it a visiting grandson driving remote control cars over my feet. The challenge of the new computer seemed suddenly worth whatever obstacles I had to overcome.
You might wonder why the coach was the only place to work on the laptop. It has to do with arms on chairs making it so I can't type or tables being the wrong height.
So I started to load programs into the new computer. I think I wrote last week about the long time it took for me to manage to download Office. My WordPerfect disc arrived though I still haven't installed it.
The big surprise was that I have gone back and forth and a bunch of different computers and changing to Windows 10 is no big deal. I was really surprised with Word. The last time I got a new version, I remember being freaked out by the changes and simply not able to take in all the stuff on the tool bars. It turns out the 2019 version looks like the 2010 version with a few changes. I did have to monkey around to get the copy edit marks to show up. But I did. I've already gone through the first 50 pages. I always tweak a little more. It's funny reading it now because it's all new to me and I'm reading it like a reader but with the power to make changes. There will be a quick turn around on this book and I think it will be released later this year. I can't wait to see the cover they come up with.
The new monitor is much better than the old one. The keyboard actually works. I'd been using a cheapie one I got at Target and never really noticed that some of the letters were a problem. I was just used to it. When I tried working on a manuscript, it was actually a pleasure. No frozen computer. no waiting forever to have a program open and sometimes just stop in the middle.
It had been on my mind that my old one was on it's last legs and I so dreaded the transition, but now it's done. Thankfully I was worried enough about the old one to have Dropbox copy everything, so I didn't lose any files or photos. And it turned out that accessing them isn't a problem either. I don't feel like I'm waiting for the shoe to drop anymore and can just relax and type.
Nice too that I can disappear into the tiny room I work in, away from the noise, people and TVS, though I still have a kitten companion who jumps in my lap.
Last weekend I had an experience worth sharing with anyone who wants to promote his or her book. It’s worth sharing because it’s exactly what you do NOT want to do, a perfect example of how to generate a negative impression of yourself.
I was one of the many volunteers working our Sisters in Crime booth at a local book festival. In honor of the Halloween party to launch our Make Mine Mystery book club, I was dressed as a witch. (Typecasting? Maybe! All I know is I was dressed all…Continue
Posted on October 15, 2007 at 3:57am
Last post I covered the reasons a published author might say, "No," when you ask him or her to read your manuscript. Now I'll switch the focus to how and why a published author would agree to read your unpublished book for you.
1. You are friends. I met Emilie Richards at the Ohio River Valley Conference many years back. I had no idea she was a super-star among authors. But I did notice she was a nice person. We chatted and enjoyed each other's company. We…Continue
Posted on September 2, 2007 at 9:36am — 1 Comment
We're all beginners at one time.
Therefore, we should all be ever-willing to help each other.
However, there are good reasons why an author will say, "No," if you ask him or her to read your unpublished manuscript.
1.) There's no upside. Here's what I mean. One author I know said, "Every time I read someone's manuscript they get mad about my comments. They SAY they want me to be honest, but .... It's not worth it." Yep, honesty can hurt. And ruin even good friendships.…Continue
Posted on August 10, 2007 at 1:58am — 9 Comments
Nancy Pickard and Todd Stone will be featured speakers at WritersFest 2007: Concept to Contract—How to Write and Sell Your Book from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2007, at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Chesterfield MO. The day long seminar is presented by the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime…Continue
Posted on August 8, 2007 at 8:59am
At this writing, I have twelve books to my credit. Nine have been published and three are under contract. Number thirteen is early awaited by my darling agent, Liz, who would be saying right now, "Joanna, finish that BEFORE you blog."
But I will temporarily ignore Liz because one of my fellow Crimespace pals asked a great question: How do you get published?
What I intend to do in this blog is share the various ways I've achieved publication, and perhaps if I'm ambitious enough,…Continue
Posted on August 4, 2007 at 1:31am — 7 Comments