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Introversion

Pie aren't squared, pie are round!
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Writing: Less than I wish. I'm pleased to do 200 words a night.

Reading: I'll put in a plug for "What Big Teeth" by Rose Szabo. Ostensibly YA horror. Brilliant voice. Memorable characters. I'm insanely jealous and hope she writes more.
 

Izz

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Hey hey

:banana::banana::banana:

Great to have AW almost back. Thanks again for all your hard work, O Great Hamster Herder!

Plenty been happening writing-wise over here. Published my first 2 novels in May, which was/is super-exciting. And anxiety-inducing!
I'm self-pubbing so that's been a fun learning curve (sincerely fun).
Next book should be out in August and the final book in the series in November.
The whole series was actually inspired by a short story written off a prompt posted here on AW :D

Here's some cover art:
Book-1-2-300-tall.jpg


Related to that, I got myself a website again, and got back on twitter and other social media type spaces.
24K into new wip set in an Entirely Different Universe.

And yeah, that's where I'm at, I guess :)
 

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Very cool covers, and I'm so impressed by people who manage to Do Stuff under the stress of the pandemic, never mind ordinary life as a parent and employee.
 
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Izz

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I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE EVERYONE.

Thanks and blessings for getting this going again.

I've been having a Smorgasbord of Life. I'm still writing. I consider that a victory.

Cool covers, Izz!
Thanks, Liz! They're courtesy of the super-talented L. E. Badillo.

And yep, it's just mega-super-yay to see everybody and be here again!
Very cool covers, and I'm so impressed by people who manage to Do Stuff under the stress of the pandemic, never mind ordinary life as a parent and employee.
Thank you!
(Figured out how to multi-quote, in case others don't know: just hit reply to multiple posts and the software does the rest)
 
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neandermagnon

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Hi, so glad to be back. Thank you so so much for all the dedication and hard work you've put into this place.

I'm doing fine. I've worked from home through the pandemic and my employer has decided that people who like working from home can continue to work from home, or if they want to return to the office they can, basically "work where you like" (I think that's the official name of the policy). So that's really great for balancing work and looking after my kids. Also I have been promoted and I'm currently in training for my new role yay!

I haven't done as much writing as I would have liked, although I am making progress on three main projects and a side project.

Reading: The latest novel I read was Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, which I enjoyed as much as The Martian which was my favourite novel, now I can't decide which is my favourite. It's a lot more speculative than The Martian. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to put in any spoilers. Just that if you like books about space exploration and plausible science I think you'll love it.

Reading, watching and listening: I also started learning Latin through you tube and a book called Lingua Latina per se Illustrata by Hans H Orberg which teaches without translation and through a story which is basically a soap opera of an ancient Roman family. There's this other you tube channel where this guy has rebuilt ancient Rome from Augustus Caesar's time in Minecraft and makes beginner level Latin videos going round Minecraft ancient Rome talking about buildings and history and interesting things and you kind of start to acquire Latin if you watch the videos enough. It is the most fun way of learning a language ever.

Listening: loads of music. Too much to list. The best of all genres. Most recently: okay I got caught up in the Wellerman craze and listen to several versions of that by folk musicians and can play it on the tin whistle and probably going to figure out the guitar chords too. Not planning on doing my own version though.
 

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Hi, so glad to be back. Thank you so so much for all the dedication and hard work you've put into this place.

I'm doing fine. I've worked from home through the pandemic and my employer has decided that people who like working from home can continue to work from home, or if they want to return to the office they can, basically "work where you like" (I think that's the official name of the policy). So that's really great for balancing work and looking after my kids. Also I have been promoted and I'm currently in training for my new role yay!

I haven't done as much writing as I would have liked, although I am making progress on three main projects and a side project.

Reading: The latest novel I read was Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, which I enjoyed as much as The Martian which was my favourite novel, now I can't decide which is my favourite. It's a lot more speculative than The Martian. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to put in any spoilers. Just that if you like books about space exploration and plausible science I think you'll love it.

Did you see this blog post from Liz Monster with her review of Project Hail Mary?
Reading, watching and listening: I also started learning Latin through you tube and a book called Lingua Latina per se Illustrata by Hans H Orberg which teaches without translation and through a story which is basically a soap opera of an ancient Roman family. There's this other you tube channel where this guy has rebuilt ancient Rome from Augustus Caesar's time in Minecraft and makes beginner level Latin videos going round Minecraft ancient Rome talking about buildings and history and interesting things and you kind of start to acquire Latin if you watch the videos enough. It is the most fun way of learning a language ever.

That sounds super cool; I'll definitely check it out. I learned enough German to pass a reading exam by watching Original Series Star Trek. Wish they'd dubbed it in Latin . . .
Listening: loads of music. Too much to list. The best of all genres. Most recently: okay I got caught up in the Wellerman craze and listen to several versions of that by folk musicians and can play it on the tin whistle and probably going to figure out the guitar chords too. Not planning on doing my own version though.

Wellerman led me to TikTok; so much fun! If you like Wellerman/Sea Chanteys, check out Gordon Bok.
 

ChaseJxyz

Writes birds and bird accessories
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Excited to be back!!!

Sent [birds] out to beta readers, did all the outlining for [monsters]....and finished today the script for my interactive fiction. It's super exciting and I can't wait to share it with people!

I read Dune and finally finished First and Last Men. I also got the surgery that I was supposed to have before covid happened and I've fully recovered from it. Things are going really well for me!
 

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Excited to be back!!!

Sent [birds] out to beta readers, did all the outlining for [monsters]....and finished today the script for my interactive fiction. It's super exciting and I can't wait to share it with people!

I read Dune and finally finished First and Last Men. I also got the surgery that I was supposed to have before covid happened and I've fully recovered from it. Things are going really well for me!
Super news! Really great about all the writing and the surgery. Love to know what you thought about Dune. Have you seen either of the film/mini series versions?
 

Sonya Heaney

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We're back! The first half of this year was actually awful for me (health issues and slow-moving stuff on the publishing front), but I sent off a manuscript yesterday that's being taken to acquisitions at HarperCollins, so hopefully things are looking up now! Plus I'm heading off on a beach holiday tomorrow - it's winter here, but I can't wait to see the ocean. :)
 

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Good to have you
We're back! The first half of this year was actually awful for me (health issues and slow-moving stuff on the publishing front), but I sent off a manuscript yesterday that's being taken to acquisitions at HarperCollins, so hopefully things are looking up now! Plus I'm heading off on a beach holiday tomorrow - it's winter here, but I can't wait to see the ocean. :)
Good to have you back, and congratulations on the MS. and submission! Go you!
 

Cindyt

Gettin wiggy wit it
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Happy, happy, that's how I am. I've missed this place so much! I've been writing all along and am within just a few chapters of finishing the second draft of my crime novel A Deadly Spill of Scarlet.
 

neandermagnon

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No, but thanks for posting, it's really interesting to see different people's reactions to the same book :)
That sounds super cool; I'll definitely check it out. I learned enough German to pass a reading exam by watching Original Series Star Trek. Wish they'd dubbed it in Latin . . .
Star Trek dubbed in Latin would be excellent! I've surprised myself how much I can pick up just by listening to the language spoken in context. I never did that well at language learning at school, though I tried.
Wellerman led me to TikTok; so much fun! If you like Wellerman/Sea Chanteys, check out Gordon Bok.
Thanks :) Not heard of him before so looked him up. Listening to him on you tube right now. He's great :)
 

Chris P

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Unfortunately, the writing log jam still hasn't broken. I had a birthday ending in a 0 a couple months ago, and the tick-tocking clock is nagging me that if I don't write, edit, polish and submit I'll never get the finished projects and the other exciting ideas out in the world. How many birthdays ending in a 0 do I think I still have? Get on with it! (Yikes that sounds morbid! Posting at 4 am might not be the best idea I've ever had).

As for reading, two notables are The Book Thief and 100 Years of Solitude. Book Thief had me hooked from page 1 and didn't let up. 100 Years was captivating in a way I can't explain. Nothing happens, it's just a book about a place and one of the main families, but it kept me turning the page. I loved the just enough paranormal/weirdness aspects. It reminded me of an unreliable narrator executed very well, where you keep saying "now wait a minute..."

For music, I rediscovered the college station online I used to listen to, KRUI from Iowa City. Remember college radio back in the day, folks, before the conglomerate communications assembly line companies took over the airwaves? It still exists! Back in the 80s, I was even a guest dj on a heavy metal show my brother and his roommate hosted.

In home life I'm one of those people who bought a pandemic house in this crazy market. I miss being so close to downtown DC, but we found a great neighborhood in a suburb town that still feels like a town and not a strip of sprawl. The mayor sent us a welcome letter. Form, to be sure, but where does that happen? My commute will be literally twice as long but still not bad, and once we go back to the office we might be able to telework up to four days a week (double what we could before). I'm torn. Commuting only once a week would be nice, but I love being able to literally walk to the White House or Capitol after work to see what's going on and be part of it.
 

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Really pleased to see AW back again. Thanks for all the hard work @AW Admin The new place looks great (y)

I am bumbling along, I suppose. My anxiety and agoraphobia are back with a vengence thanks to lockdown. Everything takes effort and energy, including writing. But I'm plugging away still with re-writes of book 1 of my tetralogy. Currently on Act 2 of Draft 10. Every time I think I've got it, I start hating it. It is NOT going well. Fiddling around with the newly released Scrivener 3 is proving far more rewarding.

Reading: Having a bit of a slump lately too. My brain can't seem to handle just sitting and doing that one thing. My tablet is full of samples I've downloaded off Amazon none of which have made me want to read further. But thanks to some insomnia this past week I did make it all the way through Twilight, which was on my list of 'things I should probably read'. Was an oddly compelling book.

Listening: Spotify is on near permanetly in the background. It knows what I like: rock, alt rock, 70s rock. 80s rock, 90s rock, accoustic rock etc :e2headban Keeps me sane.
 
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PickledHorseradish

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I want to know how everyone is doing.

It's been a long long break.

How are you?

What have you written?

What have you read that you like?

What have you been listening to?

Doing OK. We're still semi-quarantined because our dog was diagnosed with cancer of the meninges in February. She has seizures so one of us has to be home at all times to administer meds if needed. We can't get out together as we please and after 15 months that is wearing on us. It's a continuous Sword of Damocles hanging over us. We know the inevitable is coming but we don't know when. It's painful to watch, but most days are good days for her, so we just want to enjoy that time.

All I've done is scribble randomly in my journals. I've been terrible about getting anything accomplished at all.

I read and really enjoyed William Kent Krueger's This Gentle Land. I've liked everything of his that I've read. I also read Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel by Kawai Strong Washburn. While I really enjoyed most of it I felt that it lost a bit of steam at times and found the climax to be somewhat disappointing.

I've been listening to a lot of Disney background music and chillhop music, with some Afro-Cuban and Cumbia thrown into the mix. I've also discovered a live YouTube channel that plays '70s and '80s Japanese Pop, Disco and New Wave. On Saturday nights I'll sometimes listen to DJ VJAnt on Twitch as he does an '80s monster mix of videos.
 
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AstronautMikeDexter

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I'm beyond thrilled that the forums are back. Thank you SO much for all of the work that went into them. It is much appreciated.

I've been doing well. I honestly haven't been up to much in general, just working from home. The other day, since I'm vaccinated, I flew to Florida to visit my mom, so that's been really nice.

As for writing, I'm maybe about 2/3 of the way through the final book in my trilogy and I've been working with a cover designer on the first book, which I'm releasing this fall. It's all very exciting and I'm thrilled I'm following through with self-publishing.

I've been reading a ton. I've become enamored with Alexis Hall's books so it's been really fun getting through all of his works. As awful as the pandemic has been, I do have more time to read and write, so...silver linings, I guess!

So glad to see so many people posting already!
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
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So very glad to be back and doing okay. I already bemoaned the state of the Theatrical World in another thread so I won't go into that here, but not being employed meant I spent a LOT of time doing garden research and as a result, tackled this year's vegetable patch with an actual plan in place. I grew nearly everything from seed - the exception were some little cabbages I bought on a whim from Home Depot - and the patch is positively bursting right now. I'm already browsing seed catalogues for late summer/early fall choices. Our tart cherry tree gave us a bumper crop this year - nearly ten pounds of pie cherries from a tree that we were lucky to get a couple of cups from in the past. (Downside: our sweet cherry tree died this year. Still don't know why.)

We were inundated with Brood X cicadas starting in late May; they're still bumbling around, but I think the emergent activity may have peaked last week. I don't mind them except they're always underfoot when I'm trying to garden, and I'm not keen on them hitching a ride on me because of their grabby little legs. Oddly, during this same time frame we stopped seeing foxes, the squirrels weren't coming around to cadge peanuts, and the birds didn't visit the feeders. I can only assume they were all elsewhere, gorging on cicadas. Things are slowly returning to normal now.

A doe and her tiny fawn have taken up residence in our neighbor's yard, and my trail cameras have caught them wandering around during the early morning hours. The fawn somehow ended up in another neighbor's fenced yard last week; they'd called Animal Control but I told them to cancel the call because Mama had been in the yard just that morning and would no doubt be back at dusk. We left the gate open between our two yards, and my trail cam caught the big Mother And Child Reunion around midnight (I don't think a fawn has ever been so thoroughly licked.) I haven't seen the fawn since, but Mama still comes in and out of the yard. We put out some deer food and a pan of water for her. The latter was a big hit (it's been quite hot lately) but she's only taken a little food. The squirrels, however, think they've died and gone to heaven. One sat right in the food pan for a solid hour yesterday, gorging.
 

ChaseJxyz

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Super news! Really great about all the writing and the surgery. Love to know what you thought about Dune. Have you seen either of the film/mini series versions?
I have some Hot Opinions about Dune, namely about how it handles different religions and I honestly think there's no way this would ever get published as a debut novel today lol. Though on a more technical level I really enjoyed it and how it was written/structured, so I felt like I learned a lot there. I did watch the David Lynch film and it was Delightfully Terrible (I lost it at the shields first popping up in the fight scene). I'm very interested to see how the new movie will manage things and if they'll make a worm action figure. I am sad that the ballet version that my sister had seen doesn't seem to have any videos of it on the internet because I really really want to see the ballet adaption of Dune.
 
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onesecondglance

pretending to be awake
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Hello everyone! It has been a time, hasn't it.

I've had ups and downs while the boards were away. The downs were, shall we say, not nice, though thankfully I'm on an upswing right now - mentally, if not career-wise. I saw the ever-wise befrank note on another thread that publishing sometimes feels like an abusive relationship, and whoo boy, does that resonate.

I have a new/old book in progress - a page one rewrite of a previous project - and I'm starting to find the rhythm there, so I should probably start up the monthly check-in thread in MTS to keep me on track, just like old times! And I may head into the query mines for a different book. QLH, how I have missed your sharp embrace.

Mostly I just need to work out what I've done to make my "reaction score" register negative numbers without me actually posting anything before now... I think I must have inadvertently upset the hamsters. I'm sorry! I'll fetch extra seeds, I promise!
 

Introversion

Pie aren't squared, pie are round!
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I did watch the David Lynch film and it was Delightfully Terrible
That’s a most excellent summary of it. It truly made a brilliant hash of things.

I’m not hopeful enough about the new film to pay to see it. Clips I’ve seen show the film over emphasizing IMO the F/X, particularly the sandworms. “Lawrence of Arabian Jurassic Park” isn’t really the mashup I wanted. Sigh.
 

Carrie

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How are you?

What have you written?

What have you read that you like?
I am well and I missed this place!

Lots of writing done during the pandemic. It was, hands down, the most productive period of my life. But I missed this place!

The best thing I've read lately is The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, which is just the loveliest, most optimistic thing I've read in ages.
 

Plot Device

A woman said to write like a man.
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I'm a home health aide and I worked all through the pandemic. I was doing 55 to 64 hours a week for over 8 months straight. It was great because I got a lot of free meals, and every convenience store was giving away free coffee to all healthcare workers and first responders, and the price of gasoline was so low that all the driving I did between my different clients' homes really wasn't as costly as it otherwise would have been.

I didn't write much during that time. Life was a blur.

One thing really kept me going all through the summer, and that was that the inspection sticker on my car was set to expire at the end of October. And my car was so old and junky that it just wasn't worth fixing (it was a 2002 Hyundae). I knew I needed to buy another one, and that I needed to save at least $6,000 by October to get anything decent. So I had that goal always on my radar.

Then in October, my one client who had me working for 48 hours a week moved away. And so I took the down time to shop for a new-used car.

The used car market was horrendous! The pandemic effectively shut down all the factories manufacturing new cars, --first all the Asian factories shut down, then a few weeks later all the Euro ones, and lastly about 3 weeks after the Euro factories is when the factories in North ansd South America shut down. And so by May, that left all the used cars out there as the only option. There were LITERAL bidding wars for used cars! And whatever Kelley Bluebook said the price should be ... triple it! And that tripled price was what you would pay! I could post more about the car marketplace, lots of additional geeky details of how and why the prices went benanas. But the happy ending here is that I was able to find a really decent car by about October 20th, but I still paid through the nose for it! I got a 10 year old car --a 2010 Toyota Yaris, which is the smallest Toyota out there. Teeny tiny little 2-door hatchback sub-compact car. And I paid $6.500 for it. It was really clean, and only had 34k miles on it. I would have paid a lot more except that it was a stick-shift instead of an automatic. ALL sticks are selling for about $2,000 or more less than the automatics of the same make and model, and the discount is due to the surprising fact that here in the year 2021, less than 17% of Americans know how to drive a stick! So I got a "deal" only because of that one advantage in my skill set. Because the car was so old (10 years!) I had to pay cash (no bank wll finance a car more than 6 hyears old).

I had only one other client all through October, so I was working less than 20 hours a week, which was fine. I had some cash saved from my crazy summer of endless overtime. But then I came down with COVID. So then I was unemployed. Bummer. But I got unemployment compensation, so I was fine. I had a fairly mild case, but I would not return to work again until I was symptom-free (no argument from me on that). I went back to work by late December. But I haven't really been the same since.

I lost my sense of smell. It only just came back a few weeks ago, so I literally had no sense of smell for over 7 months.

I experienced pancreatic difficulties and cardio-complications. I am now pre-diabetic.

I tried to donate my plasma right after I recovered from COVID. The plasma donations centers were paying anywhere from $300 to $800 per donation if you had COVID antibodies in your system. But when I answered all the questions, I got turned down fir just one problem in my medical history. Once again .... Bummer. I don't know if they are still paying such a high bounty. But if you have only just recently recovered from COVID, you might want to look into it.

I have writing projects in my old laptop. The new laptop has pretty much nothing. I made myself delete all my Facebook games so I would stop burning up time Candy-Crushing and other nonsense.

It's good to see so many of your names and avatars on my screen again.
 
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