Oh, yeah. I get it...

Sideways sort of day. One nice conversation with an old buddy, followed by two bits of sad news on other fronts.

Trudged ahead with work. Progress here and there, setbacks here and there. A lot that didn’t get started, and even more that didn’t get accomplished.

Not sure if another fire’s broken out, but the air went bad late in the afternoon, and the sky’s turned an ugly blue-gray.

Mom coming tomorrow for a ten day visit. Plumber coming, too, for a pro-active rooting. Coincidence, or fate!

Another monday...

On the mend for the millionth time this year. At least enough to write a few lines and make it to the gym for a quick workout. Was a pretty day, if hot, and it felt good to get outside for a while.

Young M tomorrow.

Gotta get a good night’s sleep.

Fast and furious...

Computer issues. Or, rather, software issues. Lost the morning’s revisions—not all, but more than I care to think about. Abandoned all hope, and went to the Caboose train shop in Denver. Great store! Come home with enough goodies to pull a test run tomorrow. Hit the gym late afternoon, got a haircut afterward. After that, mowed my lawns. Out to dinner with J & K tonight. Brother Luck’s new restaurant.

Two out of three ain't bad...

Stinking post self-deleted.

Won’t bother to rehash except to say brick wall was finished today, Wyoming door was hung (and looks amazing), the rolling motors for the hydraulic lift were reinstalled (to no avail) and the electricians who’d promised on three occasions to stop by and troubleshoot, bagged the appointment without a call, text, or email. (Looks like it’s on to someone else.)

Didn’t get as far with the long piece as I’d hoped, but there you go. Sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar eats you.

Met my three associate editors for the Below 30 Contest. Look forward to seeing what we can scare up. Also received two new pieces for critique, and proofs from Whisky Island for “Dancing with the Devil.” Guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.

September 11, Seventeen years later...

Full day. Up early and at the keyboard a little after six. Revisions started out slowly, but picked up after the first cup of coffee. Young M arrived a little before eight, which put the brakes to the writing, but we had a good day together, and I managed a quick trip to the gym while he was down for his nap.

Surprise visit from Vern the bricklayer. He and his crew showed up mid-morning and started in on the south wall. They’ll finish tomorrow and hang the Wyoming door, and that should put an end to the big outside projects forever. (I’m knocking wood as I write this.)

About six pages from the end of the long work, and hope to reach it sometime tomorrow. Been keeping notes along the way and, with the exception of noodling on the last ten or fifteen pages, may have played things as far as I’m able. Still needs polishing, but the story is what it is and there’re no substantive changes I can think of that are going to make it any stronger. Revisions I made on the early end seem to have held up. That’s a good sign. Now if I can make the back end to the same.

Hope to get to sleep early and get a head start. Coming at it fresh always helps. Be nice if we have another day as beautiful as this one.

Travelin' man...

Many goings on after an early rise. Put in at the keyboard around 6:15 and got in a good morning's revisions. Took off early afternoon for a drive up to Green Mountain Falls to scout the fishing. Hoped to take young J out tomorrow, but the water didn't look too encouraging. Think I'll hold off for another week or so.

Did some grocery shopping on the way down the mountain, then came home and went to work on the train set. Again, made some nice progress. Still a lot of work ahead, but off to a good start. Happy about that. The more familiar the process becomes, the easier it should be to troubleshoot. Or at least I hope that's the way it'll go.

Great looking day again, weatherwise. More blue skies, more sunshine, more cool temps. Didn't get to the gym, but maybe that's okay. Yesterday's workout left me pretty sore and pretty tired. Guess I'm not as over the crud as I imagined I was.

Yeah, it's back...

Suddenly, it looks the fall I remember. Blue skies, easy breezes, lots of sunshine. Should have made a better effort to get out today, but no complaints the way it shook down. 

Spent the morning juggling commercial work with the long piece and made pretty good progress with both, despite the fact I didn't make it to the keyboard until 6:30.

Hit the gym mid-afternoon. Got in a nice workout, caught up with a couple of guys I hadn't talked to in a while. Grocery store after, the home for the night.

Wow. What weather. It's like the west forgot what wildfires were. There's almost nothing a blue sky can't fix.

Feels like fall...

Cool this morning. Rainy this afternoon.

Woke early, hit the commercial work, and made a brief run to the gym early afternoon.

Spent the afternoon with young M. 

Mom coming in on the 20th. Gotta start making plans.

Not much else to say.

Melancholy afternoon.

Feels like Monday...

Put in some good time at the keyboard today. New commercial work. Nice change of pace.

Feeling better, too, though still kind of tired from the crud.

Had my first workout at the gym in a week. Wasn't too bad. Looking forward to a repeat performance tomorrow.

Might work on young J's train layout tonight. We'll see. 

The Comeback trail...

Woke up feeling a little better today. Took a while to get to sleep after a big dose of cough syrup, but once I went down, that was it.

Got in some decent edits before I ran out of steam. Did a little window shopping this afternoon trying to hunt down parts for young J's train set. A lot of work ahead to get it ready for Christmas. Put down the track layout this evening and did a little reading about risers and inclines.

Mom ought to be leaving Phoenix tomorrow, which means she'll be up here again before long. Expecting some new project work to float through in the meantime, along with a hatful of mss. from N. Figure it to be a pretty busy month. 

Haven't been to the gym since last Thursday. Longest dry spell I've had in a while. Can't wait to jump back in. Meanwhile early coffee with my buddy G, tomorrow.

Beat down and wasted...

Still down with the crud. Bad asthma attack in the middle of the night. Didn't get back to sleep until early morning.

Put in some time at the keyboard, but only because sitting up felt better than lying down. Not sure what sort of progress, if any, I made.

Laid around all afternoon. Took a nap. End of story.

Oh, to breathe free...

Christ. Another cold. How many is that this year? Can't seem to catch a break.

Boys slept over last night. Had a good time all the way around. Up early, but a slow day owing to the crud. 

Rain tonight. Not a lot, but maybe enough to knock down some of the smoke.

Made a pot of chicken soup. Gotta help, right?

Slow disintegration...

Man. Screwed up elbow now accompanied by a late summer cold. Or whatever. Woke this morning with a sore throat, and it's only gotten worse. 

Kids back and forth today owing to a shooting in the UCCS daycare parking lot the night prior. What a mess.


Time enough...

Hard to believe it's Wednesday. 

Up early. Maybe too early. Figured it to be five, and came downstairs to write but missed my usual wake up call by an hour. It was only four. Finished the revisions on "Blood from Stone," then went back to bed.

Worked on some new material later, and caught up on paperwork. Hit the gym around one. Contacted the local chapter of the IBEW to see if I could find an electrician for the garage lift unit. Think maybe I hit pay dirt, but will wait to see what the bid looks like before I do any celebrating.

Cut the lawns after all else. Yard looks pretty good despite the warm dry weather.

A whiter shade of pale...

Figure I broke even today. 

Got "Blood from Stone" in submittable shape, and managed a brief look at one of my new pieces, "Down There" before everything got crazy.

Young M a project today. Not much else to say. 

Mid-day there was a slow walk around the neighborhood in the wagon, but not without a great deal of whining and drama. The rest was murder.

Eric the Reluctant dropped in to check the electronics on the hydraulic lift, got flustered and promptly left again. Not sure where we'll go from here. Not sure I care, either.

Went to be early last night, but it didn't seem to help. Will try again tonight and see if I can't avoid the death row dreams that have visited me of late.

Skies blue, but smokey. Go figure.


Up and about, then out and about...

Big winds last night. Big. Woke early and went to work revising "Blood from Stone." Something about the piece has been bugging me for some time, and I think I've managed to fix it.

Made a trip to the landfill just afternoon and jettisoned the old fence, along with some yard refuse and other stuff. Hit the gym on the way home.

Got another rejection slip for W2BH, this one after fourteen months. Very nice note from the editor complimenting the piece and assuring me it will be picked up quickly by another pub. Reminds me  of what I went through while trying to get "Occurrence at the Night Owl Liquor Store" into print. Salty subject matter, cautious editors. 

Anyway, this is either the third, fourth or fifth rejection note I've gotten this year for a manuscript that's been held longer than twelve months. A record.

Nice night tonight. Still breezy, but the skies are blue and clear.  

Lazy Sunday...

Asthma attack in the middle of the night didn't help. Slept in until 7:30 after a restless evening. Worked on a new story the early part of the morning, then took care of some paperwork, and sent the page proofs for "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" back to Louisiana Literature.

Killed the better part of the afternoon at Spirit, then Starbucks. Came home and tried to figure out what was going on with the hydraulic unit and discovered something had been mis-installed, causing one of the motors to run backward. Gonna need some professional help to fix it. 

Pretty day today. Wind blew off most of the smoke. Blue skies and sunshine. Gives me hope the fall might not be as miserable as I thought. Maybe the cool weather will help contain some of the blazes further west. Hope so.


Je suis fatigue...

Put together a rough query this morning. Did a little research. Started looking at a new short. Worked till mid morning, then hung it up and jumped into the footer for the new wall. Tell you what, bucking bags of cement is no way to make a living.

Finished up around four. Now it's up to Vern. Like to see the brickwork finished and the door hung before the end of September, but I'd like to win the lottery, too, and the odds of which will happen first are probably dead even.

Made the mistake of staying up late last night to watch a game. Note to self: don't do that again. Can already tell it's going to be an early evening.

Sky was pretty smokey today. Gave me pause to wonder if it will clear up at all, given the fires are in California and Canada. Christ, I hope so.

A little of everything...

Worked on outline and synopsis material today. Other odds ands ends. Broke away mid morning to make a long overdue phone call to my buddy, John, back in Wisconsin. Managed to turn the conversation into a three-hour gab session. Lot of fun. Then, came downstairs to find out the bathroom plumbing had taken a turn south.

Hit the gym not long after, then came home and went right back out again to pick up the gate to the side yard at the iron shop. Man, they did a beautiful job with the hardware. Fits perfectly with the old logs and old iron bolts. Looking forward to getting Vern out to set the hinge bolts in the brick. Once it's hung, that ought to be the end of the major yard projects. Except of course for the southwest wall in front. 

Eric gave up on the hydraulic platform project in the garage. Said he'd come back when the electronics had been figured out. Guess we'll spend part of the weekend reading the manual. The other half digging a trench for the front wall footer.

Had pizza with the boys over at their house tonight. Nice little get-together. Gonna call it a day now.