I never could get the hang of Thursdays

For a guy who works from home, I haven’t been home much this week. On both Monday and Tuesday I got to play chauffeur for my mother, who had various and sundry doctor’s appointments in Manhattan. These involved me dropping her off, parking the car in a lot, and then finding somewhere to sit and work on my laptop until she was done. Monday it was at Rocky’s, a fantastic pizza place on 2nd Avenue and 33rd Street; Tuesday it was at Variety Coffee Roasters on 7th Avenue and 25th Street. (Variety’s coffee is a little too bitter for my tastes, but their cookies are yummy…) Still got lotsa work done, though I also spent a certain amount of time driving in NYC traffic, fun fun fun.

And then there was the frustration of reserving parking in a lot that turns out to be full. I generally use the Best Parking app to reserve lot space when I drive into Manhattan. But when I arrived at the garage that I’d reserved the spot for, there was a sign saying the lot was completely full. The good news is that I called BP and they refunded my money right away. The bad news was, I wound up parking in another garage that was more expensive. Le sigh.

These were both pretty much all-day things, which meant I wasn’t home much during the day, and then I had karate Monday night and on Tuesday we had dinner with our dear friends Rebecca and Patrick (who are moving to eastern Pennsylvania, foregoing their Manhattan apartment for a spacious home with land).

Wednesday I spent some of the day home, but I also had to do some laundry, as all my karate stuff was dirty and I needed something to wear to teach my afterschool thing, which takes up most of Wednesday afternoon. I also had to write up this week’s Discovery (which will go live on Tor.com later today).

Let me state for the record that I love where we live. It’s a great space, it’s right down the street from my parents (this is important, as all four of them are in their seventies and only one of them can drive, so I’m often needed for chauffeur duties like what I did for my mother earlier this week), it’s got tons of closet space, it’s really magnificent in so many ways — plus we can afford it on two freelancers’ incomes.

But it has two flaws: no dishwasher, and no laundry facilities that we can use. Which means laundry has to be done at a (very good, mind you) laundromat down the street. For my karate stuff, it means I have to wait until all four of my gis and my fighting gear is all dirty before it’s cost-effective to do a whole load. (I don’t want to spend three bucks in quarters on just one gi…)

In related news, today I have to do laundry. Le sigh once again.

One bit of good news is that we may soon be paying rent on one freelancer’s income and one full-time permanent salaried employee’s income. Wrenn is currently working a job in Manhattan, but it’s a five-month gig that will go away by the end of April. How-some-ever, she has an interview for an actual full-time position on Tuesday — one that’s full-time remote, too, so she will still be working from home, and which will pay quite handsomely, and would solve a lot of our financial-security issues. So please, send your happy thoughts in her direction come Tuesday.

Now to put some laundry in and get some damn writing done……………………….

I never could get the hang of Thursdays

So today sucked the wet farts out of dead pigeons…..

It started with a dentist appointment, which started nice — I got compliments on how good my teeth look since last time, the result of me brushing twice a day instead of once a day and also actually flossing for the first time in my life — but went into the shitter when the dentist informed me that my remaining two wisdom teeth need to come out. (The first two were removed when I was in my twenties.) So that’ll be happening at some point….

Then Wrenn and I did a mess of shopping, which was good, and then while she was putting various meats away in the chest freezer in the living room, she tripped and fell and broke a bone in her left hand. Wrenn is, of course, left-handed, so this sucks on several levels.

I was taking a nap at the time, and was awakened by my wife screaming in tremendous agony. We immediately went to the local Urgent Care (which is all of half a mile from our house), where she got X-rays and a splint and a scrip for Tylenol with codeine.

Once she got home, Wrenn got an object lesson in how much she actually does with her dominant hand (spoiler: it’s a lot), while I had to take two trips to the pharmacy because the original scrip was for something that the pharmacy has on back order, so they needed a new script from the UC. Wheeee!

On top of that, finding a orthopedist is proving more entertaining than usual, so we have to go to our GP first thing in the morning in the hopes of a referral we can use (as opposed to the referral from the UC, which we can’t use).

I’m fried, exhausted, and grumpy. Wrenn is even more so, especially since I was struggling to tie her hair up the way it needs to be for her to sleep, one of the many things I have to do for her for a bit.

So how was your day? *sigh*

I never could get the hang of Thursdays…

My goal with Feat of Clay, the sequel to A Furnace Sealed, is to try to get at least 1000 words/day done. I haven’t always been able to do that, thanks to various other projects that poke in — a novella outline here, a comics outline there, an editing project there, not to mention my writing obligations for Tor.com — but I’ve been making steady progress, which is a good thing. I’ve written eight of the sixteen chapters the outline calls for, and I’ve just passed the 30,000-word mark. Yes, that makes for a 60,000-word book, but I’m sure words will be added once the first draft is finished, and also, I write short novels. I’m the anti-Brandon Sanderson. *laughs*

Wrenn and I are just waiting for it to be our turn to get vaccinated. The phase that New York is in includes my parents, thank goodness, but doesn’t include us. Meantime, we’re continuing as we have been since March 2020: staying in as much as possible, doing all our grocery shopping by ordering stuff ahead of time (by phone with the small shops in Little Italy; via Instacart with the big grocery stores) and picking it up, and doing laundry on Wednesdays when the laundromat is generally empty. We’ve got regular online things we’re doing with friends: I’ve got a weekly poker game, Wrenn has a weekly role-playing game, I have a daily social thing, Wrenn has a weekly social gathering, I’ve been doing karate over Zoom between two and four times a week, and I’ve also been doing a crapton of online interviews and panels and things that have been filling in for the convention-going that hasn’t happened in ten months.

We’ve been bingeing The West Wing of late, which has been much more fun since the 20th of January than it was prior. I also haven’t been obsessively checking Twitter and CNN because I’m worried that the country is going to go down in flames. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still checking both, just not with the same fervency and fright that I was when the previous occupant of the White House was still in office. And damn, that was a brilliant show. Before going to bed last night, we watched “17 People,” which is one of the best episodes of any television show ever. Any time you put Richard Schiff and Martin Sheen together, it’s dramatic gold, and what’s especially impressive about these scenes is that John Spencer — who usually dominates whatever room he’s in — is the wallflower in those scenes. Having said that, the Spencer-Schiff bits are just as powerful, as Toby has be the voice of reason to Leo (roles that are usually reversed) because Leo is thinking of Bartlet way too much as his friend and not enough as the President.

Today, the goal is to write another thousand words of Feat of Clay. Chapter 9 here I come!

What are you up to?

I never could get the hang of Thursdays


I was overdue for a haircut and a beard trim, so yesterday Wrenn and I hied downtown to take care of that. It was nice to get out and about. The same guy’s been doing my hair (and beard since I grew it) since I was 18 years old, and I’ve followed him to five different salons in Greenwich Village.

We started with lunch at Two Boots’s new location on 7th Avenue South, which is delightful (complete with a hilarious Baby Yoda painting on the window). Two Boots combines good New York pizza with a delightful New Orleans attitude, and as an added bonus they have fountain sodas that includes birch beer, plus they have Boylan’s bottled soda.

Then after the haircut, we went to McNulty’s for some good coffee and tea — that place hasn’t changed since I was a little kid, and I love it, and their coffees and teas are superb — and then to Grand Central Terminal’s market for some spices before heading home.

Today it’s back to the grind, working on To Hell and Regroup and watching and reviewing the latest Picard episode, as well as my usual Thursday teaching…..


I never could get the hang of Thursdays…


Sorry I haven’t been blogging much. Haven’t been talking much online, honestly. This blog, my Facebook page, and my Twitter feed have mostly been announcements, links, wishing people happy birthday, and retweeting stuff. I’ve been obscenely overworked, but I haven’t been talking about it much, as very little of it is ready for public consumption. I’ve been working on two collaborations (a medical thriller with a doctor, and a military SF novel with David Sherman), I’ve been working on some RPG writing (I hope I can announce that one soon), I’ve been working on the game tie-in here and there, plus my regular gig writing for Tor.com, and my karate responsibilities (which have included three hours a week working with the people going for their black belt promotion, which started last night, so that, at least, is one small thing off my plate).

Today, I have to:

  • write the final 1000 words of that RPG project
  • pack for Capclave
  • teach my usual Thursday karate class
  • buy cat food so the cats don’t starve while we’re in DC
  • buy some other stuff we need to take with us for the weekend
  • do the rewatch of Captain America: Civil War
  • at least start putting together the packages for the Mermaid Precinct Kickstarter as I finally have the books and packing stuff all together, I just need to spend some time (which I have so much of!) putting the packages together

So, y’know, nice quiet day………………..


I never could get the hang of Thursdays


Freelance life remains insane, but we’re actually both doing well with it. Wrenn has several production/editorial clients right now and — after a slow first half of the year, at least in part grief-induced after Dale’s death in January — she’s finally getting into the swing of things, between editing, production, occasional bits of bookkeeping/office managing-type stuff, and stuffie-sewing. Let’s hope it keeps up.

For my part, I just finished revising the tie-in project based on information the licensor got to me that I needed to incorporate. Today is the great superhero movie rewatch, which for the next three weeks will be Christopher Nolan’s Bat-films, so today I do Batman Begins (or as I like to call it, the inferior live-action remake of Mask of the Phantasm). Next is to revise A Furnace Sealed to make it better, faster, stronger, and get it off to WordFire Press, and then I finally dive into Mermaid Precinct.

The school year is finished, which means my Mondays and Thursdays aren’t taken up with teaching the afterschool classes (I still am teaching my Friday kids fighting class at our dojo). While I will miss the income, getting the two-month break is a relief. Mind you, I love teaching, and I know I’ll be rip-roaring and ready to go in September. And I’ve got lots to keep me busy over the summer.

Wrenn and I also are making sure we still do fun things and aren’t about work all the time. That’s why we went to see Othello and have been going to see movies and stuff a lot more. We’re off to a party at a friend’s house on Saturday, and there will be conventions and things in July.

We’ve also been adjusting to life without Dale, which still, six months later, hits us at odd times. Wrenn’s cousin Matt has been living with us, and he took over Dale’s old room, but he’s away for the summer (he’ll be back at the end of July), so it’s just been the two of us. We thought of our household as three people for so long that it’s been weird to be only two. But we’re getting there.

One nice thing about our current situation is that there’s money! And more coming! It’s a miracle! Which means that, among other things, we were able to get both cats into the vet yesterday for way-overdue checkups and shots. They’re all happy and healthy and now up-to-date, which is a good thing. Kaylee peed and pooped in her cat carrier on the way to the vet, which was a bad thing, but we cleaned her and the carrier up. (She does not like to travel. In fact, half the reason we got her is because the place we adopted her from had taken her to adoption events and couldn’t show her because she messed her carrier on the way over.)

So overall, things be good. I am well pleased.

How are y’all?


I never could get the hang of Thursdays

Being sick sucks.

It has one advantage: I have a wife who takes good care of me. Tuesday, despite being sick, I had to be at the dojo for three hours to run the desk. (The woman who runs the desk is a full-time college student — the desk has to be managed in the late afternoon/early evening during the week and on Saturday mornings, so it’s perfect for a student. However, this semester, she has a class right during her hours on Tuesday, so from September to December, I’ll be covering her shift at the desk on Tuesdays.) While I was there, Wrenn went ahead and made a batch of chicken soup, based on my own recipe.

Now you should understand that my chicken soup is magnificent. I don’t just say that to be egotistical, I have testimonials from many folks that it helps make you feel better when you’re sick. Wrenn herself was skeptical of the magical powers of my soup until the first time she got sick after we started dating and she had some soup and she felt better.

Her version of the soup is slightly different from mine (the spice mix was off, partly due to my own addled brain forgetting thyme and allspice when she texted me asking what spices went in it, plus she added grains of paradise), but it still has the magic. I’ve been guzzling it for two days now.

Anyhow, as of this fine Thursday morning, I feel almost lifelike (which puts me one up on yesterday when I, um, didn’t). I need to get back to work, as A Furnace Sealed isn’t going to finish itself. I got some good work done on it on the train trips to and from Rochester last weekend, and I want to keep going, especially since I’m about to dive into the Bronx history part of the story…..


I also have a meeting tonight with Tom Daly, as now that Mine! has been funded, we need to plot out our story for it. (The basics were done, but we were both too busy to sit down and plot it out in depth.)

To work!


I never could get the hang of Thursdays

Things are insanely busy here. Besides the usual work craziness and the added teaching duties while Shihan is out, we’re doing some serious work on the homestead.

The place we moved into last August is a three-bedroom space. Up until a week ago, Wrenn’s cousin Matt was staying with us while he did an apprenticeship as an electrician at Julliard. That ended, and now he’s off to do a summer gig upstate. We had him staying in the master bedroom, while Wrenn and I set up a bed in our office. (It’s actually the biggest of the three bedrooms, but that means we can use it for both office and bedroom space easily.)

Now that Matt’s gone, we can actually sleep in the bedroom. My parents gave us a new bed as a wedding present, including both a mattress and a wooden platform/storage bed. The platform is going to take three months to get — it’s being hand made, and will be worth the wait — but we have the mattress. We ordered a simple metal frame to hold us over that was supposed to be delivered yesterday. According to Amazon’s status update, it was supposed to arrive Wednesday before 8pm. Up until 8.05pm, anyhow — after that, it suddenly changed to saying it will arrive some time between the 21st and 24th. Good thing we paid for that Prime membership for fast shipping, huh?

It’s supposedly out for delivery today. We’ll see. We’ve heard that song before.

We’re looking forward to sleeping in our actual bedroom, thus allowing the office to become a guest room as we intended…..


I never could get the hang of Thursdays

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately — I blame too many deadlines and too little time. I’m trying to write a short story, finish a reference book, edit a novel, rewrite a novel, and keep doing the weekly TOS Rewatch, while also teaching a great many karate classes while Shihan is away for a bit. Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen my plaintive cry for a 36-hour day and a nine-day week. That’s why…

To make up for it, here’s a nice Trek related earworm for you. Created using an interview with William Shatner on the Star Trek V: The Final Frontier DVD, it’s hysterical.

You will now all have “Captain Kirk is climbing the mountain, why is he climbing the mountain?” running through your heads all day. You’re welcome.