Blue lights outta sight

Here’s recent progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)

    Project: The Seventh Bridge
    Deadline: January 15, 2016
    New words written: 1963
    Present total word count: 8806

    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Finally sucked it up and called the cops; got some run-around; gave some run-around; got a ride back to town, because the car’s been impounded.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; rescued a neighbor’s lap-dog from tree; got my bangs trimmed; nabbed lunch; exchanged some important emails; got back down to inbox zero.

    Other: YARDWORK TIME. Today, all I managed was weeding about halfway around my back yard. It is a JUNGLE BACK THERE, people. I spent almost two hours yanking weeds, pruning things back, and relocating ground-cover. Long story.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 37,098

* * *

Today got off to a weird start; while walking Greyson this morning, I straight-up rescued a shih-tzu from a tree. No shit. His name is Eddie, and he’s a known Houdini – in fact, he made it up to the tree because of the measures his people are taking to keep him in the yard. They’d covered up his usual escape route with a big sheet of plywood…which the little stinker scaled.

He scaled it all the way to the top, and then when he ran out of plywood, he just kept on going – onto the tree that grew alongside the fence. At which point, he was stuck. Right around eye-level. Whimpering for help. Not exactly what you expect to find on a morning walk, but hey – I got him down, and put him back into his yard.

(Note: First, I laughed at him, and took a couple of pictures. Ahem.)

Did he stay in his yard? God knows. But he never goes far when he does get out, so I’m assuming the best.

Now these points of data make a beautiful line

I’m still alive – and I survived the Meacham workshop/conference/whatever-it-is just fine. I met many groovy writers, some fabulous students, and a whole lot of other miscellaneous folks of outstanding character – and I got fed. A LOT. Because that’s what happens at southern events.

SPEAKING OF. This coming weekend, I’ll be in Dahlonega, Georgia, for the literary festival. So will many other terrific people. If you’re in the area, you really should check it out.

* * * * *

At any rate. Spring has sprung and the yard is waking up. I’m trying to get a jump on it, even while I try to keep up with my deadlines and out-of-town travels – and so far, I’m actually doing pretty good. Today I accomplished the following: performed further maintenance weeding around HedgeHenge; weeded beneath HollyHenge; weeded the nook beside the back gate; thinned the front hedges and cleaned out dead stuff; hauled everything to the brush pile; did some light edging/trimming around the front of the house; weeded around the old roses out front and pruned them back a bit; and pulled weeds out of the stone retaining wall.

I also went to the bank and grabbed lunch; went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription; and had a quick visit with some nice folks I met at the Meachams (providing signed books for a lovely lady’s birthday).

* * * * *

I guess when I put it that way, it looks like I got an awful lot done for a Monday. Heck – come to think of it, I ALSO finished up a draft of that short story I was working on … adding 2238 words to my count, for a total of 35,135 words so far this year. I’d like to be proud of that figure, but it’s frankly insufficient – and going forward, I really need to buckle down like crazy.

* * * * *

Greyson’s friend Briley came over for a play-date. It was adorable – and since it was such a beautiful day, I had the windows open. Briley tried to befriend the kitty through the screen and it went … not as well as he would’ve liked.

And now we meet in an abandoned studio

Many thanks on all the congrats and kind words re: yesterday’s announcement – you guys are the best! As established, I am chuffed beyond words, myself. (Note: This is a temporary condition.)

So this year’s schedule is filling up, and stuff is happening, and things are going on. There will be further news in the next few weeks – and likewise, there will be brief stretches of radio silence. For you see, deadlines aside, I have two literary conferences coming up, back-to-back.

Here. Let me provide you with some details.

FIRST UP: Starting tomorrow, I’ll be tied up with the Meacham Writer’s Workshop here in Chattanooga. If you are local, and if you are interested – you can catch me at a reading on Friday at noon, on the UTC campus, in the Signal Mountain Room of the University Center. There’s no charge to show up and get an earful; these readings are free and open to the public.

NEXT UP: Next weekend, I’ll be rejoining the fine folks at the Dahlonega Literary Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia. I will be in excellent company! Click the link and check out the guest list; this is a marvelous event, and if you’re anywhere in the region, you should come out and support it.

Otherwise, for the next month or so I’ll be working toward these deadlines – and working on the yard, because ’tis the season. (Almost. Might as well get a jump on things before it gets too hot and the bugs come out.) Anyway, please be a little patient with me, when it comes to blogging and so forth. I promise, I’ll try to keep from going too quiet, for too long … even if I only come up for air to produce a litany of What I Pruned, Where I Weeded, and How Many Words I Banged Out Today.

[:: pinky swears ::]