[slumps]

soooooooo I continue to be unavailable for most things because here’s a little story how my life got turned, flipped upside down. Within the past 5 days* I:

  • have flown TO chicago
  • have flown FROM chicago
  • got surprise tickets to the NHL Draft
  • walked past some very well dressed young men as they bit their nails over said draft (I had primo seats near their “chill” area w/ family
  • (no I did not take pictures)
  • attended an AMAZING convention for the ALA (American Library Association) and met some awesome freaking warriors, let me just tell you.
  • No, let me tell you.
  • witnessed some friends win awards for their books
  • talked to some immensely cool people about my book
  • drove 4 hours to a Buddhist temple MINUTES after landing from Chicago
  • because I’m working to beautify a temple for
  • THE DALAI. FREAKING. LAMA.
  • which is, without question, amazing
  • spent the night listening to tree frogs sing
  • ate pancreas, Cameron
  • (please get that reference.)
  • (I did not eat pancreas. I did, however, eat tripe)
  • the Master (what they call the Head Monk) heard I’d eaten it and enjoyed it, and made sure I had hot soup with tripe waiting for me at 10pm
  • …and durian cakes :D
  • the Master greeted me this morning with the most perfect damn cup of coffee I’ve ever drank in my life
  • various acolytes (con) of this temple brought me food and would. not. stop. feeding me.
  • they’re very grateful I’m going to “beautify” the temple
  • I was allowed into a memorial for the former Master (personal friend of HRH Dalai Lama) and my hostess was water- eyed as she showed me all of his things and told me about him
  • and then…
  • THEN.
  • gente, I saw the former Master’s GARDENING EQUIPMENT encased in glass and couldn’t swallow past the lump in my throat
  • she told me about how he loved to garden until he couldn’t, and none of them know enough to keep his personal garden up
  • she showed me a weed-strewn former plot, most plants overcome with die-back or weeds
  • CUE MY SOBBING
  • SO. I MUST MAKE IT PERFECT.
  • two of the con told me their refugee story from Vietnam as it fell in 1975 and how the old Master brought them in, fed them, housed them, and helped them become who they are today and I MUST MAKE IT PERFECT.
  • have just gotten home from driving back four hours in a rainstorm with no A/C
  • must hit all 3 maintenance garden clients tomorrow
  • pack for two + a cat tomorrow
  • leave Thursday am for Nashville for the Game of Thrones convention where I’m a panelist
  • oh crap, get my notes together for the 6 panels I’m on
  • so I’m a little worn out, but it’s a cool worn out?
  • Anyway. Please don’t expect an immediate reply? Cuz ya ain’t getting one. :)
  •  
* prior to this I moved 14 tons of compost/soil in one day, 3.5 tons of rock in one day, and spent 4 days digging a two foot deep trench that was 60+ feet long and repaired a sprinkler system. It's been 100F+ So.
 
[tumblr: stoneyboboney but I'm mostly on Twitter in the summer, same handle]
Third novel (And It Came To Pass) out, is well-received, am pleased. My dad actually started reading it and mentioned specifically how "shocked" he was that I got how guys act with each other (specifically the missionaries joshing around, etc.). I blinked a bit, then responded, "It's almost like it's my job to make things realistic on the page." What I SHOULD have said was, "Weird how I, a mere woman, could accurately portray men on a page but most male writers cannot." Anyway, I bet he stops when it gets to the romance. BUT THAT IS A-OKAY. FIRST FAMILY MEMBER TO ATTEMPT TO READ ANYTHING I'VE PUBLISHED.

It got all the way to #80 on Amazon's Romance bestsellers list and sold out of the initial order they placed with my publisher, which is very awesome! It's still on sale at Amazon (as in, 23% off cover price) with free Prime shipping, if you're interested. Orrrrrrrr: ask your local library to get a copy, saving you money and helping me in turn! NICE. (You can also get it from Target, iBooks, Indiebound, Book Depository, etc etc.)

I'm running a series of blog posts over the next week and change about my Mormon family, romance, and other things, for those interested. Today it's about my grandma (who I've mentioned before back on LJ) who was forced to "eternally divorce" her One True Love, my bio-grandad who died when my father was 9 months old, in order to be temple-sealed to her second husband. Ultimately it's about why romance matters, because it does. I get really tooth-grindy when people roll their eyes at the genre. Is there garbage in the genre? Of course! There is in ALL genres. But there seems to be a particularly misogynistic flavor to the derision of romance novels. Read on here.

And lastly, who's got two thumbs and was hired this week by some Buddhist monks to prepare the temple gardens for a visit from the Dalai Lama in September? THIS GAL. 

:D

HEY GUYS. NEW GHOST TOWN SAME AS THE OLD GHOST TOWN, EH? ;)

Reminder: car accident, I bought the car outright, now I'm in limbo on being paid out for it (and I won't get paid back what I paid because the universe hates me). And ha, the dealership hasn't filed the title change yet I just learned (20 days later, omg) and it takes up to 3 months in Texas, and I don't get paid from the insurance company until the title is in hand and... [deep breath]

SO! My dad is of the mindset that I should lease a car because it's less a month than buying, but I get nervous about monthly payments in the first place. And then, hmm, you lease it, and you always pay a monthly fee? Until you one day buy a car?

ADVICE SOUGHT: LEASING A VEHICLE. Anyone do this? Love it? Hate it? I'm interested in Real People experiences because while I love my dad, sometimes he's a dummy. ;)

ETA [crickets] Well, I stayed up researching and this article on Lifehacker makes a lot of sense, in case anyone [anyone? Buehler?] comes along and is curious for themselves. tl;dr: buying outright is the smart financial move.
 March 31, after working 8 hours outside in 2 landscapes (one is an actual-fact estate and it's going to be so gorgeous when I'm finished, I can't even, and the second one is Champagne Sandy's and it's already is gorgeous, I thank you very much) and only 75 yards from my apartment, a kid turned into me and punctured my wee-almost-a-junker Honda's radiator and hood. 

Because I "hit him" from behind (he was in an F-350, ffs. He just didn't SEE me) it seemed like the car was a loss. I had the cheapest insurance possible--no collision, because the car wouldn't be worth more than $1500 in a trade-in, and that's generous. Why spend that or more in insurance premiums for who knows how long?

April 1, I bite the bullet and dip into my savings and buy a car outright. It was new-to-me, but not brand new, my cute little Subaru Crosstrek. I got a good deal on it, basically paying what the dealership paid to acquire it AND got them to throw in custom leather inside, because cloth seats + a landscaping job = gross. I was feeling pretty proud of myself! That was a big chunk of change outright, but I literally never spend anything on myself, and I knew I needed a better car for hauling plants than my Honda, haha.

Kate, the Little Beep-Beep (as my youngest and I have christened her) is awesome. In one run, I managed to fix something like 7 flats of perennials (that's the tray with all the wee plants in it, usually 18 - 21 plants per tray), 4 shrubs, 140 pounds of soil, my tools, and a TREE. Subarus = they're awesome.

April Fool's came late, a week and a day, because on Monday the 10th, a kid plowed into me and shoved me into another car.  I had 8 shrubs in the car at the time, and they all joined me in the front. Well, one got wedged underneath the driver's seat (that's how hard this kid hit me. A WOODY FULL-SIZED SHRUB disappeared under my seat). Totaled.  And they won't give me what I paid. (I'm negotiating. I'm also asking for lost wages for the day and the cost of those shrubs, which are $50 apiece for crying out loud!). And let's just take a moment to say how great it was that I didn't have my damn shovels and shears in the car with me at the time (they were at the job site).

Then Smidgen (my little tortie) went into decline and it turns out she was in ketoacidosis and has diabetes and (of course) is atypical presenting, so she's been in and out of the Pet ER for the past few days, and BOY AM I GLAD I DON'T SPEND MONEY ON MYSELF. (And I didn't go to the hospital after the accident because I don't have insurance and knowing my luck, they wouldn't cover it, so I'm very grateful for Ace Bandages and acetaminophen.)

She's not a dog, but it fits the country/western narrative.

I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. MORMON JESUS IS REAL, AND HE'S MAD AT ME FOR MY HUBRIS.

(I'm fine. I have a roof over my head. I have a rental car for now. When everything shakes out, I just might not be able to get a newish car like I had and I'll remember not to reach for the sun. Signed, Icarus. Oh, and my author copies of my third book came this week right after I got back from dropping Smidgen off at the vet and I couldn't enjoy it because my little friend is so sick. :( Spare a nice thought for her, if you would.)
[livejournal.com profile] ethrosdemon, Kassie, has passed away. I learned this the day of her passing, and with respect to the "details," I only know that she was private about her lingering illness and that her family isn't having a service/to do about it. I'm not seeking more information that wasn't mine to know.

Our relationship ended about six years ago, over differing opinions on fandom, how we each wanted to talk about it and write about it, and that led to the creation of what Hey, Don't Judge Me is today. (So thanks for pushing me to get that out there in the world. I've enjoyed writing for that site tremendously.)

When I thought we were ending our working relationship, she evidently meant our real life friendship. It was a hard pill to swallow for me.

We'd been friends. We talked on the phone regularly. We encouraged each other's writing. (I loved her writing. It was how we became friends, that damn epic RPS with everyone from the CW and beyond.) We had some really intense disagreements, but one thing about our arguments: she fought with me because she respected me. If she didn't care about what I had to say, she wouldn't have wasted her energy arguing, you know? That's who she was.

I've been trying to put my feelings together for losing someone who had been a close friend, privy to all my private real life issues, but someone who had walked away from me. And you know what? It doesn't matter in the end. I'm sorry for her family and friends. She was bigger than life in a lot of ways, elbowing her way into conversations because she had something interesting to say, but if she elbowed her way into your life, it was because she thought you were worth her time in that moment.

I'll take that. Rest in peace, Kassie.

June 2017

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