So last weekend was the writer’s group Christmas party. It’s the fourth year we’ve held it, and I really enjoy doing it. We don’t entertain much, so this is easily the biggest social event actually held at our house.
This year, due to TYG’s intense work schedule, I decided not to ask for her help unless I had to. I didn’t have to, other than a couple of minor things, but that did add a lot more to the cleanup and prep. Fortunately I knew from the writer’s work day that my chili was a big hit (credit goes to the veggie chipotle sausage and Penzey’s southwestern spice blend) and chili is both simple, easy and scales up. Plus cornbread, toffee bars and chocolate chip scones. So I did most of the cleaning Thursday, then the shopping and cooking on Friday.
The party was great (photo by William Stolley, all rights remain with him). We had lots of guests, lots of tasty food, and good conversation. The party ran until around 12:30, and included a game of improv though I passed—my brain was getting a little worn (I’m so not a night owl) though I was still having fun. There was talk about writing, day jobs, politics, holiday plans, family members …And this time we let the dogs run around, which they thoroughly enjoyed, as did everyone else. And nobody accidentally fell over them, stepped on them, etc., which has always been our worry.
Best of all I could talk because I wasn’t losing my voice like last year. I did come down with an unpleasant sore throat midweek, but I took good care of it (lozenges, fluids, hot baths) and it seems to be mending without getting really ugly. Sunday TYG had things to do so I pretty much crashed at home with the pups. Much nicer than spending Sunday morning in Urgent Care last year.
And then the work week began. This week’s big accomplishment was completing the proofing of Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast. While I intend to give it one more look-see next week — some of the changes were extensive enough I could easily have introduced new errors — in every other way the text is done. What remains is finding a cover image, which hopefully I can manage next week. I’m going through Draft2Digital for this one (I tried Smashwords for Philosophy and Fairytales; let’s see how they compare) and they require a cover photo. There’s certainly no shortage of free photos on the web, but I need one that’s suitable for a Bond book, which will take thought. Haven’t thought enough yet.
But getting the body of the book done still pleases me much. I wasn’t sure I’d manage it.
I also went over the various notes people gave me for the beta reading of Southern Discomfort. I’ve discerned some broad, consistent criticisms, which I’ll blog about next week; there’s also lots of individual points only one person made, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering (some of them I already know are).
My work schedule was slightly off this week: TYG was out a couple of nights, so I tried working the evenings, then taking off in the morning after. This turned out to be fairly productive, except the dogs got very needed — they’re used to play, play, play for a bit in the evenings after TYG comes home, and expected me to substitute. And because doggy day care is full up with holiday boarders, we only took Trixie in this week (because of Plushie’s back, we want him boarded in his own separate cage, and they had none). He was surprisingly quiet and laid back when left to himself.
Oh, and Now and Then We Time Travel went to the printer on Wednesday. Soon, very soon, it will go live …