Photo Post: How does my garden grow?

I have been having fun, and challenges, with my patio area this year. Last year, I didn't move in until mid-May, and then the patio redo project took up most of the summer, so I only had a few weeks, and not much money, for growing flowers there. But it least it made a good trial to show me how excellent my location is.

Collapse )
Book 5

Fifth FYI Finally!

Well, I was hoping to finish Memorial Day weekend, so I wasn't too far off. I made good speed at editing the last Geren novel, which felt short after the huge fourth one! Today I finally finished. This is my FYI that the revised version of my fifth and final Geren novel is now available for anyone who read the older version and might like to read it again.

Available formats
- pdf
- epub (for Nook, Kobo, Onyx Boox, etc)
- mobi (for Amazon Kindle)

If anyone wants paper copies, I will put them on my purchases list, but it will probably come in July, with my next 'extra' paycheck.

I'm not quite done with this six year project yet. I've learned so much from my fabulous editor that I have a list of small tweaks to attend to with the first four books. But...the end is finally in sight!

Photo Post: Wings in Spring

I'm very grateful that my state of residence has not closed most parks during this pandemic, and to be blessed with a couple nice weekend days in early spring. All of the photos below were taken at the Murphy-Haneheim regional park on either April 11th or 19th. On the 11th I walked through the mingled woodland, prairie, wetland areas of the park, and on the 19th I arrived quite early to visit the deep forest parts--though the paths where the extremely rare songbirds nest are already closed for the season. Delighted to see my first ring-necked ducks, and also other birds I rarely see, such as belted kingfisher, cranes, hooded mergansers, and a pied-billed grebe.

Collapse )

2019 Books

Another new year means another round of moving my books list from my shouts_of_joy bio page over here to be a reference down the road. 2019 stunk all around, and it definitely stunk for reading progress, since work on the fourth and fifth Geren books took loads of time but doesn't get counted. Moving doesn't help, either! Just 27 books, probably the worst yearly total since I learned to read!

Collapse )


Back with the quiz I've posted yearly since 2004. 2019 was awful. Like it said, "You think 2017 and 2018 were bad, you ain't seen nothing yet!" Almost none of the anticipated good stuff made an appearance. Instead, it took all the big bad stuff from the past two years and then added some new bad stuff, the worst being the inability to do any new writing the entire year. So that's like spending time on earth dead in everything but biological fact, though still being able to edit and make illustrations is some small consolation that my soul didn't leave the premises early.

I really hope 2020 brings something good...

Collapse )

By request: Christmas decorations

I'm massively enjoying being in a bigger place this winter with space for a Christmas tree (my first since 2011) and plenty of decorations. My previous place was far too small, and since I spend around half my Christmases visiting family, I'm not home for plenty of them. But this year I got to have a blast.

Collapse )

Merry Christmas, all!
Book 4

FYI the fourth!

As I expected, no way I could get through the monster fourth Geren book in a year...but a year and a half isn't bad. Today I finally finished. This is an FYI that the revised version of my fourth Geren novel is now available for anyone who read the older version and might like to read it again.

Available formats
- pdf
- epub (for Nook, Kobo, Onyx Boox, etc)
- mobi (for Amazon Kindle)

Please let me know if you want paper copies, and they will get a higher priority on my ever-lengthening purchases list!

And now for Geren book 5, the last one, at last!

Awful April

So, I'm not writing this from a padded cell, not quite. A basement bedroom in a friend's house is not a padded cell, though it's far from a mansion either!

April stunk. The locals especially to the south and west would say the blizzard in mid-April did that. Those in the north would say getting buried by snow at the end of April would do that too. Everyone is annoyed by this string of gloomy rainy days when the rivers are still in flood stage from the massive snow melt. My time and energy during April was occupied with packing and with looking. I wound up retreading the path of 2016, by renting a regular and later a separate climate-controlled storage unit, both now containing most of my possessions, though my house plants are taking refuge in various places.

The month did bring bright spots: my brother flew out over Easter weekend for our great-aunt's memorial. It was great to see him and a bunch of distant relations. And I finished my art project and found it quite apt to my current situation. Slow but palpable progress with pass 7 of my fourth Geren book as well, though currently I can only squeeze in some time on bus rides or sometimes lunch breaks.

Very grateful for help from my brother and Cindy and the Towners with hauling furniture, or cleaning, or offering me a place to stay. And the Johnsons for taking in some of my plants.

April got more awful for my brother and sister-in-law with their loss around Easter. Then it got truly awful at my job. Worst day in my career by far, when a coworker in her mid-20s didn't show up for work Thursday and we find out after noon that she is dead. It's going to take all of us some time to work through this shock and tragedy and loss.

Apr 14 - Finished 'Passage 2019' book 5 illustration

Pass 1 Highlight/comment potential edits & revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 2 Major edits and revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 3 Items missed in Pass 2, edit revisions COMPLETE!
Pass 4 Highlight/address bad habits and trouble spots COMPLETE!
Pass 5 Verbal read-through COMPLETE!
Pass 6 Thorough review with different font and page layout COMPLETE!
Pass 7 Final sweeps In Progress, 30% complete

As for starts with a memorial service on Sunday for me, my coworkers, and many others. It also kicks off with a huge upgrade at work Saturday that will keep my team very busy for some time. It gets underway with the uncertainty of whether I will be living in the basement bedroom for two more weeks or if more upheaval will hit again. God alone knows where and how May will end...