Sunday, May 20, 2018

With life even more busy...a break from blogging.

I've purchased a house. Not my dream house, but a house for a good price that will do for me for the next five to eight years and should re-sell fairly easily.

I'll be signing the final paperwork this week, and then there's a month of painting, fixing, cleaning (the yard in particular is getting to be a neighborhood eyesore!), shopping for supplies, and moving.

I've written 14,000 words on my new novel while I've been on the road and house-hunting, which is both not enough to satisfy me and more than many folks might be able to write under these circumstances. I'd love to be able to get at least another 14,000 while I'm settling in. With that goal in mind, I'm going to blog less during the rest of May and June. I hope to get back to it in July again.

I enjoy blogging, especially the articles I've written on particular disasters. It takes time for the research and writing, but I learn things, which is among my top five activities in life. But it doesn't pay me anything, so it's an indulgence that I won't be able to afford while I'm busy with settling in to a new house. Better to work on a new novel than to write blog posts, yes?

There are over 200 blog posts here, many of them substantial about preparing for emergencies, natural disasters, paleontology, and diseases. Scroll down the right side of the blog, and there are topic links you can use. Enjoy reading!

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

4 Films That Define Me

Someone asked me to post this over at Twitter--it's a hashtag game there. I quickly found four films that, taken together, do catch something of my personality, life, and beliefs.

My 4 films are

1) Les glaneurs et la glaneuse In English, The Gleaners and I.

2) Fight Like a Girl 

3) RV

4) Wordplay 


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Still too busy to be interesting

I'm still mired in house-buying and moving problems. Somehow, I'm writing four days a week nonetheless. And if I get the house I made an offer on, I have a month of mostly outdoor work to do in order for it to not be the house no one wants to look at on that nice block of houses!

I'm mostly posting this to say I'm still alive, still writing, and I'll be back to more interesting posts when life itself is LESS interesting. Isn't there a Chinese curse about that...?

Saturday, April 21, 2018


I am 90% overwhelmed by first keeping my sister's social schedule (a drain for an introvert like me), second by house-hunting, and third by the usual overwhelm I feel about the book-selling business.

Somehow, I've been working on a book between all that. This is another book you could say I've been researching for 2-3 years (as was the case with Crow Vector.) It's a World War II spy novel, and I started writing it while driving 10 hour days from Arizona to Illinois. (I'm apparently nuts. But the darned thing came to life right then, so I had to begin!)

Because of how busy I am, there is no way I'm going to be able to draft this at my typical one-month pace. But I have a book coming out in late April and one in July, so I should be able to hit September with this one. Maybe. Possibly. I hope!

A real life person who appears in three chapters in the book, Vera Atkins, the woman who supervised the female spies in the SOE and spent years after the war trying to find out what happened to the ones who never returned.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

House-hunting with a self-reliant mindset

I've been house-hunting non-stop for two weeks, and I've learned some interesting things.

- buy a house in a less regulated state than the one I'm in! Crazy long lists of rules
- abutting farm land sounds good...until you realize they are spraying a lot of chemicals right next to your garden and Roundup will kill it and neonicitinoids will kill the bees you are hoping to attract
- not all real estate agents are created equal. It is possible that if a real estate agent wears shoes worth more than your entire closet, she spends time on the wrong things
- I've also learned the difference between foreclosures, foreclosures being auctioned, and short sales (around where I'm looking, there is a buttload of all three of those), and the dangers of each
- some people let houses on which they have mortgages fall to pieces, and I want to weep for the poor house, which did nothing to deserve that
- you might not get everything you want for the price you want. Something has gotta give, and then your time may be spent fixing up a house's problems rather than doing the gardening you'd rather do.

nothing I've looked at, but a kind of dream place
Sorry for a short post. I'll do my best while I'm settling in. And after that...who knows about internet!