The SFF 2021 Cantina

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Niniva

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We're back up and running? :D We're back up and running!

Seems I'm always the last to know.
 
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MaeZe

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We're back up and running? :D We're back up and running!

Seems I'm always the last to know.
You're not last because we're still missing a few people. But they are trickling in. :Thumbs:

Except for bruising from my wrist to my elbow, the arm I fell on is fine. But damn, my rib hurts to take a deep breath.

[Medical lesson follows along with the (boring?) story of when I learned it.]

The rib is probably not broken and maybe isn't even bruised. Bones are lined with a membrane that has a very rich blood supply. If you break a bone you will have a significant bruise. By the same token, if you have a significant bruise it's worth considering you might have a broken bone.

Bruises can take a while to get to the surface but I think I'd see something by now. And there's not much to be done for a cracked rib anyway.

Fun story, for me anyway because I love my memories. I was in Puerto Vallarta Mexico years ago with my mom. It was memorable trip because my mom didn't usually travel with me and it so happened they nationalized the banks when we were there. That was different.

Back to the story. We were sitting around the hotel pool and a couple of doctors were in the clump of people. A woman wandered near our group with a seriously injured ankle. Discussions were had. Doctor #1 bet it was broken because of how much bruising there was. Doctor # 2 bet it wasn't broken because he didn't think the mechanism of injury would have broken the bone. The injured woman had been knocked down by a strong wave. They advised her to get an x-ray which she did. It was broken. Waves in Puerto Vallarta can be strong little buggers.
 
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E.F.B.

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Ouchie, MaeZe! Glad nothing's broken, but sorry you got hurt at all. I know how sprained/bruised ribs feel. Back in 2006 when I was in middle school I did a stupid by trying to go down icy steps and fell all the way down on my back instead. I don't remember being bruised so I think the worst of it was the muscle pulls, but owwww, I couldn't breathe deep without pain for a while there. My knee got pretty tweaked, too.


Morning, Cantina. We had a severe pop-up storm late yesterday evening. It lasted for about an hour, poured rain, and there was much wind and lightning. It topped the walnut tree in the middle of the yard (not sad about that because we'd just as much prefer cut that thing down but cant' afford to) and took out yet another branch on the poplar tree which is the second oldest on the property. We won't be walking under the walnut tree for a while because that branch is still up there. Went out this morning to investigate the poplar and some of the fallen branches have burn marks through the core and some don't, so much have been lightning that hit a big upper branch and that one falling took out several lower ones. That poplar tree is really tall and stands out slightly from the woods, so guess that's why it takes the brunt of storms. It's healthy and thick enough to probably be close to a hundred years old, though. I think it'll be okay.

I've been making good progress editing this week, but not been super focused this morning with walking around the yard to look at the storm damage and also playing with da lab mix early since we have a heat index of 106 predicted for this afternoon. It's already super humid now, so don't particularly want to be outside in that. Mom and I will cut up and move the poplar branches when it's cooler. Right now, I better get that Word document open.
 
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Friendly Frog

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Niniva :hi:

Ouch Maeze, I hope it will heal speedily.

Yikes, EFB!


I have been useless for days because on Tuesday our youngest cat didn't come home. To top things off he was acting strangely lethargic and we were going to keep him in that day but he snuck off before we closed the cat door. AND we had just removed his collar with adress tube for a flea treatment. And while he is chipped, they recently changed the rules so that only vets and police may have the equipment to scan pet ID chips.

None of us could understand why he would have gone outside if he didn't feel well. Previous cats had always hid around the house when ill, even if we never knew where exactly. But we had looked pretty much everywhere and couldn't find him anywhere inside. Figured he may have had a brain bleed or something that made him act abnormal. We had one of those before.

Honestly, we are all pretty sure he lying dead somewhere outside and none of us wanted to admit it, but it remained to be seen if we ever would find out for sure. And we had travel plans for next week too.

Still, I was poised at the computer today to compose a missing pet leaflet to post around the neighbourhood when mom opened the washroom door and there he was. Right as rain.

Whatever it was, he must have slept it off for three days safely tucked away under the washroom shelf. So his instincts are sound at least.

Funny how pretty much immediately after we found him I feel like I can think again.

So that's one donation to the local cat shelter for today (and another one for a vaccination programme because I've had it with This Effing Year.)
 
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greendragon

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So wonderful that he was safe and sound, Froggie!!!

It's been a rough week for me. We were closing the month for accounting for the first time without our general ledger Manager (he left for another job). It was chaotic. Long, 16 hour days. And then yesterday, my boss finally went on vacation (to Morocco) within moments of missing his shuttle to the airport... and the rest of us had to spend five hours working out some entries he did for a recent acquisition. That was brutal.

I'm glad he made his trip, but I'm going to work on a template so future acquisitions aren't a free-for-all for accounting treatment. One problem is that while he knows the accounting, he is not familiar with our general ledger computer system, so creates entries without regard to what project they should be assigned to, or what task within the project.
 

Friendly Frog

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Yikes, sounds rough indeed. :Hug2:

I am convinced more and more that cats are essentially jerks. Loveable jerks, cute, fluffy jerks but jerks nonetheless.

After scaring us silly for three days, mister fluffypants decided curfew wasn't for him and came in only well after dark... :Headbang: And now he has nudged mom out of her seat.
 
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Gatteau

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Well Froggy, I have always known cats are jerks (perpetual glare vs hey-wha-cha-doin grin of dogs) but I will admit they are fluffy. And that is not to say dogs are not also jerks (mine consistently edges me out of my spot on the couch, claiming more tummy-rubbing room), I just think they are so certain of the altruism of their actions (barks) that it wouldn't occur to them that anyone would be less than pleased by the service they provide. Case in point: this being the height of summer, the ice cream truck drives down the street most evenings blaring its truly wonderful and lyrical tunes, therefore the dog must bark as long as he hears it, because how dare any sound or movement go unacknowledged and answered?!

Unrelated, someone barked incessantly at something at the crack of dawn this morning, while everyone else was trying to sleep in...
 

E.F.B.

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Mom just got out of her ENT appointment and her ear is indeed finally responding to treatment. Like, the doctor could actually see into her inner ear. It was so swollen before that she couldn't do that. So she's giving mom a stronger anti-inflammatory to keep fighting this thing. She also confirmed that mom's Bell's Palsy is improving alongside the reduced swelling, which confirms that the inflammation was/is the cause. Y'all, if any of you take the allergy medication Xyzal, please just keep a close eye on any changes you experience. It didn't bother my dad and in fact really helped the allergies he was experiencing earlier this year, but that medicine is what got this all started for mom. There's even bold print on the list of side effects that if you experience feelings of fullness in the ear, ear infection or ear drainage, to stop using it. Her Rheumatoid Arthritis complicated the infection, but the Xyzal started it. (It also made my nose bleed constantly for two weeks until I stopped using it, so yeah, be careful with that stuff.)
 
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Brightdreamer

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I haven't heard great things about Xyzal, anyway; sticking to Claritin or Flonase, which seem to do the trick. (Not together, of course; I'll use one for a while, then if it stops seeming as effective I'll switch. They seem to work on different allergens, depending on what's prevalent.)

Mergh. Need to get back to writing, but I'm sorta dragging. Had a shopping trip this morning, and for some reason that seems to throw me off my game. Maybe I'll doodle for a bit; I've been doing a "Smaugust" daily dragon challenge for August to kick my creative brain.
 

MaeZe

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Mom just got out of her ENT appointment and her ear is indeed finally responding to treatment. Like, the doctor could actually see into her inner ear. ...
That would be the middle ear unless you are talking about some kind of imaging.

But, carry on. Sounds like it's a vast improvement. :Thumbs:
 

E.F.B.

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Yeah, I meant middle ear. Early morning appointments are not helpful to the formation of proper words. :p

Well, da lab pup has now managed to give herself a nice wound on her belly by jumping the backyard garden fence and scraping herself on the way over. She's jumped it when toys bounce in the garden before and didn't hurt herself, but guess she misjudged it this time. I saw her do it, but didn't even realize until later when she was licking herself that she'd actually gotten hurt. We cleaned it as best we could. It's not the worst wound ever, but I am concerned about junk getting in it and making it hard to heal. We do at least have an inflatable doughnut of shame to prevent her licking all day every day. We'll try to get her to the vet I guess. Hopefully it won't need stitches. Mom doesn't think it will but she can't always see very well and I'm not exactly a vet to know either. I'm just kind of feeling like punching an inanimate object because can this year just not for once?
 
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jallenecs

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Just finished another short story!

Weird. I've never been much for writing in the evening. . I'm a morning person, by nature. But the mood struck and well.....

I turn my back for five minutes and y'all are swapping cat stories. We just lost our only cat last week. She was nearly ten years old. I'm gonna miss her.
 

MaeZe

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Poor kitty. :cry: And only a week ago!

So far my remaining doggy is doing okay.

Finally my bruised rib or whatever I damaged has stopped requiring round the clock anti-inflammatories. Thank goodness it didn't take the six weeks I kept reading broken ribs took to heal. I'm sure now it wasn't broken.

It's hard to know where to start getting an agent list together to send my query to. There must be a gazillion YA sci-fi agents out there. I haven't even been able to narrow down a list of agencies. It's not that I don't know where to look. It's that there are too many places to look. I'm always falling down research rabbit holes. I'm motivated and overwhelmed at the same time. The result is inertia.
 
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greendragon

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Morning, all! It's been hella week redux here Sunday and yesterday. As a finance dept, our job is to close the company books each month. We are a department of about 8. One key person left (our general ledger manager who had been there 12 years). Another key person is moving to a different department. And our Controller went on vacation on Thursday, believing everything was done. It wasn't. So me and the other Senior Accounting Manager worked late Thursday night, all day Friday, most the weekend, and all day yesterday, fixing things. At least I'm learning a lot!
 

Gatteau

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I'm sorry about your kitty, jallenecs! :cry:

My pup loves to go charging off after mice and squirrels through the forest, the floor of which is littered with pinecones, needles and all sorts of broken branches and sticks, naturally. So of course I noticed the other day three separate little scrapes on his back legs and one on the side of his little paddy paw on his back foot. He thinks he's invincible and isn't bothered by much of this sort of thing, but I caught him licking at the foot. Keeping an eye on the scrapes and they all seem very minor and to be healing just fine, but we're going to have to be better about not encouraging him to go running through debris like that. And he's going to have to figure out how to keep better track of all his feet, goofy dog.

There's a pretty serious fire raging about 50 miles from us this week. We don't feel in any danger of the flames reaching us here, but we've been sopped in with smoke for days. It's felt like constantly sitting next to a campfire, whether we're indoors or out, and it's been snowing ash. Luckily we've accumulated quite a lot of masks over the past year, and actually really want to wear them anywhere we might have to breathe. Anyone I've talked to, even people who've grown up here, says this is the worst they've ever seen. The winds must have changed today, because I can finally see blue sky and the sun is its normal, blinding, bright yellow again, as opposed to the apocalyptic red and orange of late. It looks like that fire is still burning pretty steadily, although thankfully with far less growth in the past 24 hours than the couple days before that. I'm going to take these things as hopeful signs. They're predicting the winds to shift again and send us more smoke for the weekend, so we'd better get out and enjoy this clear day while we have the chance!
 

Justobuddies

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*Puffs back into reality with a sad trombone noise.*

Turns out I was really waaaaay too jaded to handle my country's response to the pandemic, and have spent the last, checks watch, however long it's been, curled up in an emotional fetal position. Unable to write, unable to people, and generally, just unable.

But I'm getting back to myself, and hopefully all of the WIP that adds a non-Euclidian angle to the existential dread of living that my stories will forever remain abstract concepts of thought trapped in my mind tank...

*stares at a point a thousand miles away for a moment*

So anyway, how is everyone else?
 

greendragon

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I've been slowly pushing through my first full read-through edits of Much Ado About Dying (Urban fantasy series book 2). I'm about 60% done. I hope to be done by the end of August. I've also begun re-writes on Legacy of Luck, book 3 in my Druid's Brooch Series, as that's due for re-release in February. I still have too many projects on my plate, so didn't really want to start that one up yet, but I have a new critique group and that seemed the best one to share.

Anxiously awaiting the feedback from my editor on Urban fantasy book 1, Taming of the Few. And going through edits with another critique group on Extreme Planning for Authors.

Staring at NaNoWriMo coming up in November with a wary eye. Do I want to shove myself into the first draft of Urban Fantasy book 3 for that? Or skip it for the first time in four years? I should be about ready to release Taming of the Few by then, and hopefully most of the way done with Extreme Planning.
 

jallenecs

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How are things going here in Hillbilly Land?....


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This is what I've been up to. Because I'm so sick, STILL!!!!, I can't have a garden. So I decided to crochet one. It works well, because each project is small, so doesn't require tons of concentration. I've spent the last six months or so constructing the pieces, a little at a time. Today, Elder Daughter came over and helped me cover my headboard with my own little fairy garden. Still lots to do on it. Crochet wisteria to go in back, my autumn stuff (bottom level) is too crowded. But it keeps me out of mischief between short stories.
 

H.L.Dyer

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Those look absolutely adorable jallenecs! Especially the little gnome fella. :D


Caught the writing bug hard today and zipped out an intense scene that caused even me to look at what I wrote and ask myself "Are you okay? Who hurt you? Do you need to talk to someone?" 🤪

I'm quite proud of where I'm at right now, but with the scene I just cranked out, I now have three different scenarios involving a character that I'm not sure which to go with because I'm not sure which would impact the most.

One is reuniting with a loved one once thought to be lost after an entire subplot of trying to look for her, only to have her be ripped away from protagonist.

Then there's another moment in which I get to show off the abilities of nightmare creatures in the story where if you make eye contact with them, they transform into what you fear the most. In this scenario, the nightmare would transform into a darker version of said character in which she blames the protagonist for not being able to find her.

The third scenario that I just wrote basically has a similar premise where the protagonist reliving the loss of that character through a third-person perspective and his outer self during that time frame yells and beats him saying that it's his fault that he couldn't save her, then the character adds to the blame-game along with another side character that the protagonist ignored warnings from. Basically an attempt to show how guilt and self-blame can drive one to near insanity and just how tenacious those emotions can be by (metaphorically) beating you down and doing everything in their power to reinforce lies of being worthless with flawed reasoning. (i.e. "You couldn't save her because you didn't love her enough, so it's your fault she's gone." )
 
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MaeZe

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That's some interesting stuff, H.L. Looks like it might be difficult to resolve that conflict. You have your work cut out for you if you don't already have a resolution.

Jallenecs, would you mind if I took a screen shot of your fairy garden for my DIL? She's been crocheting up a storm apparently, making lots of little animals and I don't know what else.
 
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jallenecs

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Jallenecs, would you mind if I took a screen shot of your fairy garden for my DIL? She's been crocheting up a storm apparently, making lots of little animals and I don't know what else.
Go right ahead! My daughters love the pumpkin house and the autumn scene. You can't see them very well, but I have Rabbit Hood, Little John Bear, Maid Bunnian, and Friar Pork down there. My husband used zip ties and string to make little bows and bo-staffs for them.

Elder Daughter asked me to make a fairy garden for her, too. She hopes it'll be Harry Potter themed, but I think that's beyond my skills at the moment.

EDIT: apologize to DIL for the shabby condition of my headboard. That bed was purchased in 1963, and desperately needs to be refinished. One of these days....
 
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E.F.B.

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I have never seen a crocheted garden before but I. LOVE. IT. Great work, Junely! Last year I was working on the most complicated crocheted blanket I've ever made and I did finish it. As there was no state fair last year, I'm entering it in this year's fair, along with a baby blanket I made for the Wizard of Oz collection in my Etsy shop (unless it suddenly gets bought before the fair, which I'd also be okay with, LOL) and a sweater I made for myself. Fingers crossed!


Well, we never ended up taking da lab pup to the vet because they were so backed up the only option was to drop her off one day until they could see her and that would have just traumatized her, (not to mention dad's anxiety is such that he wouldn't handle that well, either) so, nope. It's not a huge or deep wound so we're just going to do our best to keep it clean and keep an eye on it. Hopefully it will heal on it's own. If an issue should arise, we'll take her to the emergency vet out here, which she still wouldn't be happy about, but at least we can sit and wait on her there. It seems fine so far, though. Hopefully that won't become necessary.
 

jallenecs

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I have never seen a crocheted garden before but I. LOVE. IT. Great work, Junely! Last year I was working on the most complicated crocheted blanket I've ever made and I did finish it. As there was no state fair last year, I'm entering it in this year's fair, along with a baby blanket I made for the Wizard of Oz collection in my Etsy shop (unless it suddenly gets bought before the fair, which I'd also be okay with, LOL) and a sweater I made for myself. Fingers crossed!
It's a work in progress. Right now you see lots of critters. You don't see the grocery bag I have FULL OF FLOWERS and plants that need to be put onto stems, leaves added, garlands created, and placed in situ. My husband is going to put up twinkle lights on the wall behind the pumpkin house, and I have decoration plans for that, too. I MISS MY GARDEN! My actual garden, I mean. This is the best substitute I could come up with.

In other news, my writing this morning has been surprisingly productive. I woke up with the next line for the current short story already in my head, and the rest -- over 1500 words so far today! -- has been kind of falling out of my brain onto the page. None of this was planned, btw, it just kinda happened. Hey, works for me! I'll keep going until the ideas dry up.
 
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