Category Archives: The Dog Ate My Homework

The tide has turned. That may be a good thing (#SFWApro)

So a couple of weeks ago I was dealing with four different sources of nonfiction, income generating projects. At this point it looks like next week I’ll be down to one. I don’t feel bad about (perhaps in a few months).

The legal articles I was doing for Leaf has now wrapped up. It was fun doing it again — after several years with them back when I first moved up here I know the format and a lot of the topics well — but simply because it was for a limited time I put in a lot more effort than if it had been long-term. So that’ll free up quite a bit of time.

Two of the other income streams I was dealing with have yet to send me any work. Which is good because I had the Leaf stuff — it paid a lot better — and I don’t know how much more I could have handled. I keep wondering if one of them will start next week, enabling me to keep the money flowing. But I wouldn’t mind a week of getting back to mostly fiction, even though I’m still hustling for nonfiction gigs and magazine article ideas.

Screen Rant, of course, remains. I did my newest article this week (Dalek trivia!) but it’s not online yet. Rights to image remain with current holder.

And I did get close to 3,000 words of Southern Discomfort done, but that’s 2,000 short of what I’d planned. I should have stuck with the impulse I followed the previous week: when the nonfiction gets tough, just make myself put in the extra time to get 1,000 words each day. I’d figured I could catch up today — I did my last Leaf article (on the educational power of attorney) yesterday — but no. We had a somewhat chaotic morning with me walking the dogs (TYG was stuck handling something else) and then Plushie went and sat up in the bedroom. When I checked on him he stared at me as if he couldn’t quite figure out why he didn’t have one of his parents next to him to snuggle with (he’s not the sharpest card in the deck). So I settled in with him until he finally headed downstairs. All of which apparently left my brain too unfocused to work on fiction, so I switched to batting out some of Undead Sexist Cliches (The Book). I’m pleased I kept my nose to the grindstone, frustrated I got thrown so easily by morning events (and I had such a good night’s sleep, too!). But like I said, next week looks free and clear for catching up (fingers crossed).

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Filed under Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead sexist cliches, Writing

So Trixie ate a button … (#SFWApro)

That was Wednesday night. We were up in bed when TYG noticed she sounded like Trixie was chewing something hard. Which shouldn’t be possible in our bed. And yep, she’d been gnawing on a button on the duvet and bitten part of it (we will not be using that duvet again). She didn’t seem to be choking or in pain so after some Internet research we decided to see if she’d poop it out. And she has, or around 80 percent of it. How do I know? Squeezed the poop bag and felt something that was definitely a button.

Wednesday was also odd because when I sank into bed Tuesday night I didn’t get up until 5:30. Which for me on a weekday is oversleeping. And I never oversleep. Not that I’m complaining — I had an exceptionally bad night Monday and I eeded every minute of extra sleep.

Thursday was odd because we didn’t want to take the dogs in to doggy day care as we usually do — after all we could hardly ask them to inspect her poop for buttons. So I lost my day to work without pups to parent. I had to pass up plans for a haircut — I rarely go out when they’re home because I have to set up Plushie’s cage and that’s more bother than it’s usually worth. This weekend, perhaps.

Of course the dogs being home meant that when a contractor showed up — I’d set the time precisely because they wouldn’t be here — the pups lost their shit (“PET ME, PET ME, PETTTTT ME!!!!”). The contractor crew bore it with good grace, though.

And in the evening, when I had to do my cleaning (I normally do that on day-care day too) the pups lost their mind again. I was home — but I wasn’t sitting with them! Or doing something with them! I was doing Other Stuff! Departure From Routine! Apocalpyse! Noooo! But after I was done we all calmed down and settled on the couch again. What the heck, no matter what they need, they’re worth it.

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Filed under Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals

Another changing tide? (#SFWApro)

But changing in a good way, happily. As King Cnut demonstrated (image borrowed from Medievalists, don’t know artist, all rights reside with current holder) we cannot hold those tides back. Before I get to tidal matters, here’s a quick overview of the week:

•I wrote and submitted my newest Screen Rant, as I mentioned this morning.

•I submitted more articles on the current Leaf project.

•I sent in my first sales tax payment on sales of Philosophy and Fairytales. It was less than a buck so the charge for paying online was actually more than the tax. On the other hand, it is kind of cool that I need to pay sales tax.

•I continue to struggle with fixing up Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast. I think I have the problems fixed but I’m ordering a test copy (about $6) just to make sure.

•The best part of the week is that I got back to work on Southern Discomfort. I just promised myself that no matter what, I’d get a thousand words done every day, and I did. I’d like to do more, but it feels wonderful to be moving forward with it.

And that’s the tide part — after swinging so heavily to nonfiction, they’re moving me back to fiction. Okay, technically I moved myself back by conscious effort. So much for the metaphor. But then again, the nonfiction does seem to be slowing down a little. This latest Leaf project will wrap up by the end of next week at the latest. One of those nonfiction projects I talked about at the link just isn’t happening (not the first time I’ve gone through Welcome Aboard! followed by Crickets!). I have another one that may start next week — we’ll see what happens. So that could mean less money (boo!) but more fiction time (yay!). And I have a few potential nonfiction projects, both articles and long-term gigs, to look into next week.

On a non-writing note, I had a frustrating experience making calzones this week. The dough just didn’t work, which I assume is my fault though the recipe did seem off (very little time for the dough to rise). However I made the filling without the calzones and its delicious.  I shall make it again soon.

 

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Writing

March in review (#SFWApro)

Given the chaos, the unexpected extra assignments and everything else, I’m pleasantly surprised I got 58 percent of my goals done (I’m writing this Thursday night, but I don’t see the figure changing today). Unfortunately most of them weren’t writing goals. They were things like practicing meditation, wrapping up the taxes, using sunscreen, meeting my quota of exercise, etc. All important, but more personal than professional.

Part of that is that I overestimated how much I could get done after having Lily stay over and visiting Florida. Part of it is that Screen Rant and all the other unplanned nonfiction I did steered work away from my plans for fiction. I’m particularly disappointed that I couldn’t pull off the 25,000 words I wanted on Southern Discomfort. And got bupkiss done on short stories.

But that’s basic to the writing game. If something new comes along — a paying gig, an invitation to write for an anthology — then you adjust your plans accordingly. I shall spend this weekend setting goals for April and figuring out how to balance everything. I hope.

For bonus amusement, here’s a cover (don’t know photographer, all rights remain with current holder) of a 1970 decorating book, courtesy of Awful Library Books. That woman appears to be seriously stoned, or she’s just had some really great sex.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Writing

Why no, this was not a productive week, how did you guess? (#SFWApro)

Well, other than me mentioning it in this morning’s post of course. Plus getting back from Fort Walton Beach on Monday, so I had one day down to start with.

Having three dogs, all of whom want to sit either beside me or on my lap, made working on my computer difficult. And Lily seems to be even more eager for cuddles than when we’ve dog-sat her before. Even my backup plan — do some reference reading offline for Southern Discomforts — didn’t quite fly. Partly that’s because dog shenanigans in the bed Wednesday night left me utterly exhausted Thursday (and as noted, my holiday trip had hardly been a haven of sleep, so I had no reserves left).

On the plus side, waking up early Thursday enabled me to finish my next Screen Rant article early Thursday morning (Fifteen Super Heroes Who Quit and Never Returned). And I completed my interview with one news service that wants to use me as a reporter — it’ll be about 10 to 15 hours a week, I think. I’d prefer a little less, but as I’m getting faster and smoother at the Screen Rant articles, I think I can do it without stinting on the Southern Discomfort rewrite.

And that was it. Of course, I was prepared for this to happen — we’ve dog-sat Lily a couple of times — but it is a little frustrating to get so little done after a week of vacation. But no regrets, either. She’s a sweet dog and she’s much happier with us and getting to rough-house with Trixie than if she were in a kennel somewhere alone.

Next week, back into action!

 

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework

Enter the Lily (#SFWApro)

So once again we dog-sat for Trixie’s best friend Lily while her owners were away. Which meant lots of madcap dog-ninja grappling, some really tricky walkies (how the hell do professional dog-walkers manage so many at once?) and lots of dogs wanting to cuddle with me at once. So not a lot of work accomplished (I’ll discuss that in this afternoon’s post). And not a lot of sleep, either. I’m not sure what we’re doing differently, but fitting Lily onto the bed proved a very difficult endeavor. And sometime early Thursday morning she wound up waking me up with the “please can I climb up and cuddle with you?” look (no, unfortunately — TYG was sleeping so far on my side there was no space for a dog). Still, it’s cute having Lily over, and I know she enjoys it more than staying at a kennel. So we’re cool.

(A clash of titans! Very small titans).

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Filed under Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework

Puppies will make them sleep! Actually no (#SFWApro)

Case in point, Monday morning. Sunday night, TYG had startled Plush Dog with Sudden Motions (getting rid of a bug) so he decided his safe space would be lying on top of me in the bed. When it came time for me to close my eyes, TYG and I managed to nudge him off to sleep between us, but no further. Which was fine … until 2 AM or so when he decided to sleep on the other side of his mommy. Only instead of trying to climb over her, he climbed over me. Specifically my crotch. So I woke up. And didn’t get back to sleep.

But I’m still absurdly happy we have them in the bed with us every night.

plush-tongue

Trixie, meanwhile, has been very needy lately. More insistent on snuggling and petting during the work day, more interested in reaching over the lap desk to get my attention, which is usually Plushie’s trick. Is it just a phase? Or is she needy because Plushie keeps taking the lap and she feels left out. A couple of times, they’ve decided to share the lap, which is cute but really a stretch for my legs to encompass them both. I’m too soft to say no, though. Probably a good thing we don’t have kids (“Well, if blowing up the school will help you feel better about your grades, Susie, go right ahead.”)

trix-asleepBoth photos are mine. Feel free to use them, please give me credit.

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