So, life continues at a breakneck pace. I am grateful for all that I have and all the opportunities I’m pursuing. Sometimes, thought, it’s hard.
Travel: I recently returned home from North Carolina where I visited my family and had a very good time. I dislike the act of travel (especially planes), but I enjoy the visiting. Next up for travel is a whirlwind appearance at StokerCon for the banquet and ceremony. I won’t be on any panels (that I know of) and I don’t have a table in the dealer’s room. It’ll be strange to just attend the convention for a day and a half. The following weekend is Crypticon Seattle, the local premiere horror convention. Dealer only, but there will be much visiting to be had.
Writing: I got the official “Sekrit Project Alex” is accepted and checks are in the mail. Super happy about that. I’ve also turn in a short story and I’m about to return to Fever County. I was away a lot longer than I expected to be. Such is life. I also got interviewed by File 770. Oh, yes. I now have a local writing group for me and several work-at-home authors called Wit’n’Word (see what I did there?). It’s not a critique group. It’s a social writing group. We write. We talk. We play with kitties. We write some more.
Editing: Still dotting I’s and crossing T’s on the two anthologies I’ll be editing this summer/fall. The spin up part of anthologies is the hardest part. I’m looking forward to the editing part. Thinking of editing I’m processing the final proof notes for Ivan Ewert’s Famished: The Gentlemen Ghouls omnibus. It’s looking really good.
Domestic 1: I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on minimalism and tiny houses. I don’t think I’d ever become a minimalist or live in a tiny house, but there’s a lot of good and inventive ways do de-clutter, organize, and pare down the things you don’t use or need. This has helped with my need to de-clutter and organize my house. We’ve been living here together for over nine years now. We both tend to packrat things for “just in case.” That makes it difficult to do things like use the closets efficiently. Thus, I’m working on it. The Husband helps when I need him to. Mostly, this is one of those things I can control, thus I am. Each slain task feels like a real victory.
Domestic 2: We’ve decided that since this will probably be our house until we move to a retirement house (with no stairs), we’re going remodel and upgrade both upstairs bathrooms. We’d have to do it any way before we sold the place. Might as well enjoy the upgrades now. I suspect it is going to be an exciting summer for the cats.
Domestic 3: Thinking of cats... all of mine are doing well. They are fat and happy and demanding. I have an Instagram account that’s mostly cats. In the wild kingdom that is our backyard, a territorial hell beast of a bunny has moved in. This hellbunny has challenged and run off: other bunnies, crows, stellar jays, a pair of mated ducks, and a myriad of squirrels. They keep coming back. It’s a never ending battle and a never ending source of amusing cat TV.
Travel to see family always has its ups and downs. I dislike the travel part of almost any trip I go on that involves a plane. (My kingdom for a transporter!) This trip was a good one. My nieces have grown into lovely young women. My parents are still ticking, even though they’re getting up there in age. My sister and I have way too many medical issues in common for comfort. And my BIL is Enlightened and Valor. It made for an interesting and fun trip.
The Husband helped Dad buy, deliver, and build a patio set that is really nice. We got to use it the last day before we came home. I liked it.
The biggest event of the trip was the escape room event called "Lunar Lockdown" by Bull City Escape. It was a crashed spaceship with six people. That allowed it to be just family to solve the puzzle. And solve it we did. The first 15 minutes were crazy. My family solved puzzles even before I knew they were there. My main job was time watcher and hint communicator. I watched and took in what was going on around me then suggested things when something got stuck. I also caught a couple of mistakes we made and solved one puzzle myself. Everyone did something. We all contributed to the win.
Though, we did need all three hints. Technically, we “needed” one hint that we would never have figured out the code without it. The other two hints were to point out mistakes—once was mislabeled jars and once was not seeing the key stuck to the inside of one of the boxes.
We solved the space crash puzzle with 6:41 to spare. The room only has a 40% success rate even when hints are used. It was a good time.
That said, I never want to do another escape room event. This one went as well as it did because all six of us were family. We knew how each other thought. We were able to get in each other’s spaces. I’m not sure we’d be able to do that with strangers in the group. Also, it would’ve been a serious downer to have lost the event. As a personal note, I dislike timed events in general and never play that kind of game. They make me anxious.
However, if you like timed events that require a lot of puzzle solving, Bull City Escape does an excellent job.
I enjoyed seeing my family. It was a good trip. However, five days away was enough. I missed my bed, my kitties, and my routine. I’m in the middle of a novel and I have a short story due at the end of the month (Hi John!). Not to mention the two anthologies in progress. I had to put the novel work on hold to get some much needed revisions on Sekrit Project Alex done, but I’m happy to be back to it.
This family trip is one of the reasons I’m not going to be at Norwescon. I’ve been to the last 6-7 of them and enjoy the heck out of them, but I need the break to rest and to write. At the end of the month, I’ll be at StokerCon for Saturday and Sunday. My next full convention, it will be Crypticon Seattle where I’ll be a dealer.
As an aside, I do have a new Dreamwidth account now and will be phasing out my pro-LJ to crossposting only. Until I figure out how to get the crossposting to Dreamwidth done, those will be manual copy/paste. My GaanEden LJ is a permanent account. I haven’t decided what to do with it, yet. I mostly use it for non-writing stuff.
Other social media: Facebook page (one of my main social accounts), Facebook author page, Twitter (super active on this), Tumblr (which I rarely use), and Instagram (if you like cat pictures), G+ account, and finally, of course, my blog. My LinkedIn, Amazon, GoodReads, etc... are all crossposted from one of these.