The plan for this weekend was to finish up the last of the second draft edits to Crystal Shard so that I could ship it off to the editor tomorrow when she gets back from NYC. Ha. Hahahaha.
Best laid plans and all that. First, we had a GFCI outlet in our garage go out on Friday. This is kinda important because it not only controls all the exterior outlets but all the outlets in the bathrooms (don’t ask me why, I didn’t build this house). Had to go get a new outlet, then reassure Ramón that I wasn’t going to fry myself replacing it, then not try to roast myself with north Texas heat in the replacing of the outlet. Whee.
Saturday morning, we noticed when we woke up that it was rather toasty in our bedroom. It quickly became apparent that the upstairs AC unit had stopped working. This was the last straw on an immense and unwieldy pile of issues I’d been dealing with for the last month or so and I promptly had a meltdown of my own. Ramón, bless him, stopped me from throwing breakable things at other breakable things and got me calmed down (and frankly, I think I needed the meltdown. I felt immensely better, albeit embarrassed as hell, afterwards) and we worked the problem.
As this unit has been known to blow capacitors, we watched videos on how to replace AC unit capacitors, looked up the capacitor rating in our house repair file, located a localish hardware store that sold replacements, made plans to pick one up Sunday morning, and slept in the downstairs guest room which was cool and comfortable. This morning we took out the unit’s capacitor and tested it, discovered that it was indeed an ex-capacitor that had joined the Choir Eternal, drove out to Celina and the ACE Hardware that carried replacements (they had literally just gotten them in this week so we lucked out big time), came home, installed it, hit the test button to make sure that the unit did indeed run…
…and discovered that while it ran if I was holding down the test button, it wasn’t accepting signals from the inside thermostat that would turn it on and cool off the upstairs. While I spent some increasingly hot time outside fiddling with the unit, Ramón did some research and found out that this model of base unit has a safety switch that shuts it off if its coolant drops below a certain level. We haven’t had it serviced since 2019 (I mean, COVID) so that could well be the issue here. Luckily I had already scheduled an A/C tech to come out tomorrow and give the system a tune-up, so I’ll call them in the morning and give them a heads-up that they may need to do some diagnostics as well (if it isn’t the coolant it may be an issue with a control board in the furnace).
Once we buttoned the unit back up I took a long cool shower and slept the sleep of the extremely hot and tired. And now at 5:07 PM I am finally sitting down to continue editing and, please God, get Shard ready to send to the editor tomorrow.
How’s your Father’s Day (or Sunday for everyone outside of the US) been?
Gentle Reader (yes, I’m totally hearing Julie Andrews’s voice in my head as I write this), I fear that I must bring you some unpleasant news. As many of you know, I have been struggling somewhat this year to get Crystal Shard, the first book in my new reverse harem paranormal romance series, out and into your hands. It seemed like every time I turned around some new life event exploded in my face and I was forced to push the release date back. I mean, this happened three times. I was starting to think that the book was cursed.
The latest life event to cause a delay was my knee surgery. While I knew that recovery would take at least a good month, I didn’t count on the sheer amount of exhaustion I would experience while my body was busily putting my knee back together. I truly thought that I’d be able to work on Shard from the bed, if necessary, and get it ready for a May 24, 2022 release.
Ho, ho, ho. As it turns out, it’s rather hard to write coherently when you’re on opioid painkillers, muscle relaxants, and the other meds necessary to keep you from wanting to cut your brand-new knee joint off. Who knew? By the time I reached the second week of May I only had about 30,000 words done out of a projected 80,000 words, and I would have to have the file ready for upload to Amazon by 6:00 PM CST on May 20th.
That’s today, by the way.
I did my best to finish the book, I swear to God I did. And when it became very clear that there was no way I’d hit 80K and be able to get it edited in time for the release date I took a good look at the plot and figured that, well, I could cut it in half around the midway point of 45,000 words, release the completed part as a Japanese-style light novel on May 24, then finish the second half and release that as a second book in July.
Yeah. Except that I finally reached that 45,000 point last night at 10 PM. Needless to say, the manuscript is bleeding ink from the margins and is in desperate need of the Editorial Machete, a good scrubbing by the beta readers, and a whole lot of polishing. So as much as I hate to do this, I’m letting the pre-order lapse so that I can give the story all the editing love and attention that it deserves (and possibly bumping it up to 60K in the process) with an eye towards releasing it in early June.
I’m sorry. I am so sorry. You have no idea how sorry I am because I loathe disappointing people and I know there were readers who really, really wanted to read this. But I’m not about to serve you crap, and right now this book … is crap. It needs to be bathed, shampooed, conditioned, blown dry, trimmed, and have its wee toesies painted before it loses the stench it currently emits, and for that I need about two more weeks.
Please forgive me. I will make the wait worth your while, I promise.
So I decided to stripe my bangs last night with Overtone semi-permanent colors for brown hair because I’m Gen X, I no longer care about people’s opinions, and I’ve always wanted to try a multicolored striped look.
Yes, I know it’s kind of hard to see but you can’t get really obvious tints with brown hair unless you bleach it first. I suppose I could go into the dining room where the light is super bright and take another pic there but every joint in my body is complaining about the oncoming bad weather tomorrow so I’m not in the mood.
I used purple, blue, red, and green, and basically just slathered the color onto various sections before letting them sit for about two hours. You can see the purple on the left and the red on the right in this pic, with hints of the green and blue at the top. It’s subtle, but I like it. I may hit the sideburns up with a bit of purple tomorrow night because my wisdom sprinkles are becoming really obvious there and I’d like to see how they look if they’re covered with purple.
Ramón hasn’t seen it yet. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to notice. I may put this into permanent rotation, who knows, or I may try doing all of my hair in two colors (the blue is actually really flattering so I think doing half of my head red and half blue would be fun).
I also love Overtone because they use mint in their ingredients and my hair is soft and smells bloody marvelous for days afterwards. Jasmine, the mint fiend in the house, keeps following me around and trying to chew on my bangs, bless her fuzzy little heart.
Oh, and I worked on Crystal Shard today. So there’s that.
I have a subfolder folder on my email inbox that’s called Varia. It’s where I put the email that I want to keep for some reason but doesn’t fit anywhere else. It’s why I’m titling this blog post Varia, because it contains stuff that’s important to me but doesn’t really fit anywhere else. So without further ado:
I have to do the taxes today. And by do the taxes, I mean collate all the numbers that we then submit to our accountant (yes, we have an accountant. What with Ramón’s former 1099 contractor status and me with my multiple streams of income, I’d much rather pay a professional to find any tax breaks we may be eligible for than swear my way through TurboTax, plus their fee is a write-off on next year’s taxes). It’s a task I never look forward to and always feel immensely relieved about once it’s done. Writing this blog post is a way of putting it off for another couple of minutes, but once I hit Publish it’s time to take the laptop upstairs and do battle with the paperwork.
WRT The Slap: it’s a complicated situation that contains many layers to parse, some of which I am not qualified to do so because I am not Black. So I’ll leave that to people better suited to do so. Nonetheless, I’m happy that Will Smith won his Oscar.
I’m struggling to find joy in writing. I don’t know if this is due to the pandemic, the fact that I’m still having problems with Crystal Shard (I really wish I could jump to Crystal Blade, but that’s simply not an option), various hormonal problems that are still plaguing me, or what. But when I think about my schedule for the rest of the year it’s not bringing any pleasure. Rather, I can’t help but think that I’m rushing through time without stopping to enjoy anything and I’m going to regret it at the end. I need to find some way to pause and find some happy moments.
To that end, I’ve just learned that Florence + The Machine will be touring North America this summer and one appearance will be in Irving. Seeing as I use a lot of F+TM tracks in my writing soundtracks I think I’m going to get tickets for Ramón and myself, especially since I’ve already pre-ordered Dance Fever and I’m loving the three tracks that have been released (“My Love” is especially delicious).
I just finished bingeing Bridgerton S2, and while I may catch flack for this I think it was better than the book (the MacGuffin that led to the marriage was period-appropriate, yes, but still awfully contrived. Plus there had already been a hasty marriage to avoid scandal in Book 1 so something different would have been nice).
I need to vacuum the living room, but JJ is asleep and I don’t want to disturb him because he’s twenty years old and has earned his rest. Maybe later when he’s up and eating.
Okay, that’s it for me. Time to head off and wrassle with the taxes. Think good thoughts for me, please.