Week 41 - MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge Participants
-Sorry, folks, for missing last week's blog challenge! I even told my publicist on Thursday that I wouldn't forget. Well, she knows better now than to trust me when I spout nonsense like that.
Anyway, this week's blog prompt is about writing rituals and the truth behind them. I assume this is supposed to draw out participating authors' own writing rituals: what they are, why they do them, and the feelings they get from doing them. That, of course, presumes we have writing rituals.
I don't go through any little processes to get my mind in the groove or attract good fortune before I write. I don't do anything like that after I finish a manuscript or even when I publish. Perhaps some of the participating authors on this blog hop do. I have no beef with that. If it makes them feel comfortable or inspires them--and doesn't hurt anyone else in the process--then what they do doesn't bother me.
Perhaps the question ought to be do we or not have such rituals and, why so or why not. Unfortunately, I can't answer that one either.
Egad, I'm boring.
This blog is posted on the very day that I'm headed to Louisville, KY for the Imadjinn Book Fair & Expo held in conjunction with the Imaginarium at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, October 11 - 13. I participated in the event back in 2017, and it was a bust. However, I heard that the event has really grown and is something quite special. So, I go with high hopes and every intention of hitting the Jim Beam store. (I'm out of bourbon.)
Enter the Imaginarium and stop by my table to chat (and maybe buy a book or three). Admission to the event is open and free to the public. There's plenty of (free) onsite parking. And, if you get hungry, there are some restaurants nearby.
“I speak English,” he replied after a moment in an intriguing accent, his cool eyes alight with interest.
“Oh, God, not again,” she muttered beneath her breath. She took another breath to compose herself, smiled her most professional smile, and asked if someone was available to escort her clients into the hotel so they could return to their conference.
“You don’t know what happened, do you?” he inquired with a faint grin that concealed the sudden surge of rage wanting to be unleashed at whoever had been foolish enough to insult this woman. His woman.
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t. My clients were touring the city. We’ve not heard the news.”
“Someone attempted to assassinate a visiting government official in the hotel lobby,” he explained. “We’re not supposed to let anyone in or out the building.”
Cassia extracted her hotel room card from her pocket and held it up. “I am a hotel guest, as is each of my group. We have no interest in interfering with the investigation. We just want to return to our meeting.”
“It will cost you,” he said with a grin that no woman could misunderstand.
Cassia’s face went white with rage. “I will not whore myself. We’ll go elsewhere.”
She turned on her heel, but the man’s hand shot out and grasped her arm and swung her back around. His grip was gentle, but unbreakable. Cassia recognized the enormous strength that he could wield and wisely quelled the urge to struggle. Besides being undignified, it would do no good and only amuse the boor. She brought flashing eyes to his glittering ones and could not have answered as to whether the emotion in his sky blue eyes was amusement or offense.
“Those two will go blind for cash bribes,” he explained with a subtle nod of his head to the two armed men standing at the door. “I’ll settle for dinner with you.”
Her wary glance held him at a small distance. She paused, then simply asked, “How much is the bribe?”
He named a figure that would have had her laughing if she were watching the situation on television. Surely, she thought, the execs carried sufficient cash to cover the bribes. Or maybe not; they seemed to believe in the ultimate efficacy of credit cards. Even prostitutes accepted credit cards. In any case, she didn’t have the money.
“Dinner? You’ll require nothing more?”
“I demand nothing more.”
“But you’ll ask,” she shot back with disgust.
He grinned at her and said, “A man cannot help himself. I give you my word that I shall do nothing you do not want.”
She harrumphed and thought it over, then asked, “When?”
Join Holly Bargo at the Imadjinn Book Fair & Expo
October 11 - 13 | 2:00 PM Fri - 5:00 PM Sun
Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Louisville, KY
The past few weeks have been incredibly busy. Between working long hours, trying to get laundry done (and not succeeding), trying to cook dinner a few times a week (not a lot of success there either), and more, I'm forgetting a lot of routine stuff, like:
Luckily, Stasia's looking good. She regained much of the weight she lost over the summer, and her winter coat is growing in. She also regained the sparkle in her eyes and the spring in her step. I no longer fear she won't make it through the winter; regardless, winter will be hard on my beloved geriatric mare. I must do better about ensuring the constant (and large) caloric doses she needs to maintain a healthy weight. Equine senior feed's expensive when you go through 18 - 24 lbs. per day for just one horse. No one ever said caring for a 34-year old horse was cheap or easy.
We also discovered that Stasia doesn't like Rural King's house brand of senior feed. It has no--or not enough--molasses. So much for that experiment. Back to SafeChoice Senior Feed. Or Purina Equine Senior. She likes that one, too.
I've lots to do yet to prepare for winter. Folks who don't have large livestock don't really understand the logistics. There ain't no app for that. It's all elbow grease and money spent. Good thing I love these animals.
So, the logistics. Consider forage. The average 1,000 lb. horse requires 20 lbs. of food daily. The average square bale of hay weighs 40 - 50 lbs. When I had a full complement of livestock (3 horses and 14 llamas and alpacas), I calculated the need for 15 tons of hay necessary to get them from December 1 through April 1. That's a lot of hay and didn't include the round bales purchased and deposited in the pasture for free choice "grazing." Round bales, by the way, incur a lot of waste. Expect to lose 30% (approx. 200 lbs.) of a "small" round bale to animal depredations and inclement weather.
This year's growing season favored rice, not hay, so hay is really expensive this year. I'm glad to enough left over from last year's crop to feed Stasia through the winter. Of course, hay deteriorates and loses nutrients--and Stasia's dentition isn't what it used to be--so that, too, requires supplementation via concentrated feed. Anymore, Stasia gets most of her nutrition from the pelleted senior feed which she can "gum" if necessary.
But you're tired of hearing about good "horsekeeping." So, let's segue into another 4-legged critter living at Karen's Home for Wayward Animals.
Brutus got his monthly depo shot on Monday morning. Brutus is one of our six indoor cats and a true asthmatic. The veterinarian warned us that monthly steroid shots would shorten his lifespan. Well, not breathing will shorten it even sooner and quickly, too. Brutus is tolerant of many things, not the least of which is the harness and leash. Getting him into a carrier is really difficult, so harness and leash substitute for confinement and control--well, as much as one can control a cat. The next two months' shots are scheduled, as well as the dog's annual checkup and vaccinations.
So, what gives?
Apparently, I do as shown by missed blog entries.
Last week I made no progress on any of my own manuscripts. Paid work is hitting my desktop hot and heavy with writing two newsletters due this month and editing for a magazine due this month. I sent off a new ghostwriting contract to a current client who wants me to write a nonfiction business guide for her. I expect project to start in November. Other ghostwriting project proceed apace. And, in the meantime, I try to keep up with the limited social media in which I engage.
I'm not complaining. Having a full platter is good. It pays the bills and keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. I think I've somehow inherited the elder son's time management skills. He claims he has the time management skills of a carrot. Time management skills, like my handwriting, have devolved into general chaos. After triple-scheduling last Saturday, I'm making more and better use of Google Calendar to keep me on track.
I have committed to releasing a fifth book yet this year. That means I need to get my butt in gear.
Wish me luck.