Monthly Archives: March 2014

Weather Bomb: The Aftermath

Holy smokes.

Yep, that’s my response. Now, living on the East Coast, I’ve been stormed by the best storms, but this one actually scared me for a while. Winds topped out at 122 km/hr, which translates to almost 76 mph. I was lying in bed, listening to the windows creak and the power lines moan, and wondering if I was going to spend the night trying desperately to cover holes in the roof or blown in windows.

Everything held together, though. We only lost power for an hour, which was amazing, because just before it came back on, I’d heard they were calling all the crews off the road for safety reasons. Getting across to the barn to check on the ponies was an adventure. At 4:30 that afternoon, the snow was up to my knees and no big deal to get through. At 6:30, it was up to my shoulders (see the picture) and impossible to climb.

drift at 6 thirty

It was 9 o’clock before the wind had packed it hard enough that I could crawl across the drift. I used the broken mallet handle from the morning to help support my weight, and set off blindly into the wind. It felt like an hour, but was probably only five minutes, before I ran into one of the fence posts.

The ponies were fine, but there was a lot of snow in the barn. I closed up a few more places, put plywood over half the door and prayed the old pony wouldn’t decide he wanted to hang his head out. He’s a storm watcher, and if there’s wind and snow and really unpleasant stuff happening, you can find him with his head stuck out the door, or out a window, completely snow-covered and enjoying every minute of it.

The next morning, the drift was as high as my head, but packed so hard I literally cut a set of stairs into the snow and walked over to the barn like it was summer. Ironically enough, because I had no plans to go anywhere, this is how the snow built up around the car:

car

Mother Nature having a good laugh at my expense.

Today, it’s supposed to rain. I need to go salt the woodpile to melt the ice around it and get some wood in the basement before the next round of snowstorms.

Because she’s not done with us yet.

I’m expecting a spectacular summer after this.

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Tuesday Tickle Pre-empted by a Weather Bomb

So this foolish storm is coming in tomorrow. It’s supposed to have winds of about 65 mph, and anywhere between 16 and 20 inches of snow. I’ve been plugging holes in the barn, digging more wood out of the ice (which involved whapping it with the backside of the axe) and cleaning the chimney and all the stovepipes so I don’t set the house on fire tomorrow.

It’s funny what a science this storm preparation becomes. I stopped in town to pick up road salt and a couple of boxes of those compressed sawdust fireplace logs, plus snacks. Batteries are charged, candles and lighters set out, easy to find. They’re predicting massive power outages. The freezer is full of things like chicken breasts, salmon pieces and pork chops–easily cooked in a frying pan on the woodstove. Pasta and rice and baby potatoes, eggs and cherry tomatoes. We have milk, and juice, and before I go to bed I’ll fill the bathtub with water so we can still flush the toilet. Drinking water will come from melted snow I scoop up from the front yard.

The ponies have feed and bedding enough to get to next week, their water bucket is full, and all the places that snow tends to blow in have been plugged. Except for the door, because the old fellow likes to scratch on it and it’s frozen open now. But the wind will be on the opposite side of the barn, so it’s probably okay. Better for the red mare anyway, since she has problems with dust and does better with a lot of fresh air.

We’re bringing the house up to a bit above normal temperature tonight, because the wind will suck that heat away tomorrow, and if the power goes, we’ll be depending on passive convection from the furnace and whatever heat the woodstove can pump out. The backup laptop is charged, the ebook readers are charged, the mini-dvd player is charged, phones are charged.

We’re ready. Mother Nature can bring it. As long as she takes it away with her at the end of the day.

And I bet I sleep like a log tonight. 😀

The Underground Erotica Anthology is on sale at Amazon!

Underground$1.99!! If you were feeling a little leery of trying out a mixed MF and MM anthology, this is a low-risk opportunity to give it a look. All the stories are well-written (if I do say so myself!) and you never know when you’ll find a new author reading one of these anthologies.

All proceeds are going toward the Absolute Write Water Cooler–a hangout for writers and other artists, to gossip, discuss ideas, and learn how to write the best story they can. I credit the Cooler with my own jump into publication and for keeping me from starting low and subbing to some publishers that later turned out to be a very bad deal.

So, go have a peek at the inside the book. I firmly believe you’ll find it’s worth the $2.

Click here to go to the Amazon page! Underground Erotica

The Proto-Office

I did some shopping for the proto-office today. A new chair that will keep me in a better position for typing, and a second monitor to make edits a little more straightforward.

The monitor was something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but it was an ‘only if I have some extra money’ purchase. The chair, on the other hand, was a necessity.

I’ve been using a kitchen chair for the past year and a half. It’s the right height for the desk and it’s easy to move around. But, I’m short. Really short–like 5 feet tall. Short-waisted, short below the knee. I’ve never managed to find a desk/chair setup that lets me type comfortably while still having my feet on the floor. I also have what my doctor calls ‘a high degree of lordosis’. Basically, baby got back–my spine, viewed from the side, forms a easily seen S shape. When wearing Victorian clothing, I don’t need much of a bustle. 😉

The implications, and the consequences of this, are that I have very specific needs with respect to office furniture that are difficult to meet. It took two hours in at the office supply place, trying out all the chairs to see how they fit, and some very deep conversations with the salesman about proportions and adjustability. (I never knew office chairs were so complicated!)

This was all triggered by some recent health issues. I’ve been getting by, but lately my posture has gradual shifted, until it’s actually started causing me severe distress. My neck, my shoulders, and my jaw have been a knot of pain for the past month. I’ve lost sleep, and lost writing time, because the only time I’m pain free is when I’m up moving around. And we won’t talk about the probable liver damage from the volume of painkillers and anti-inflammatories I’ve been taking.

This also steps up the schedule for getting the treadesk, since my posture is normal/correct when I’m standing. It’s just my work position while sitting that’s an issue.

Next on the list is a couple or three largish whiteboards to put on the wall. And I need to see if I can repurpose a set of shelves from somewhere around the house to hold my growing collection of resource books.

So, the moral of the story is: make sure you’re sitting properly and don’t be afraid to buy the proper furniture. 😀

I promise a picture, after I’ve gotten a bit more of the junk out of it.

Tuesday Tickle: Forastero

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t tickle something with so few words in it. But I’ve been watching circus videos this morning and thought, “Why not?”

Forastero is #3 of the 4-story set that I’m writing, in a kind of shared-world thing, where I’m only sharing with myself. 😀 The main character used to be a circus performer in Las Vegas, doing aerial silks and hoop, but then…

As soon at the music lilted into existence, as soon as he got his hands on the lengths of fabric, all his cares fell away. Here, he was free. Here, he was himself.

He started out standing in place, rocking back and forth gently with the music, using the material to keep himself upright. The music grew louder, and he let himself lean forward, his arms stretched behind him, head down like he was exhausted. Slowly, he dragged his toes over the boards of the stage until he could place his foot directly underneath him. He straightened his leg, his hands gliding up the silks in a lover’s embrace, and he brought the other leg forward to join the first.

It was time. Throwing his head back, he bent his knees and leapt upward into the dance.

And, if you watch this video, the main character performs both of these drops in the story, though not one right after the other.

Joining The Grim Readers…

Grim Reader I discovered this before Christmas, but it was sold out before I could order it. When it came up for sale again, you can bet your boots I ordered one so fast my credit card smoked. Here’s where I found it: http://shirt.woot.com/offers/grim-readers-book-zip-hoodie

So, yeah, this is me, all boss in my new hoodie. All I need now is a Harley and some pretty young thing to ride behind me in a pair of tight jeans and no shirt under his leather jacket.

Tuesday Tickle: Pine Nuts and Honey

100_1432I had a really crummy day at work today. One of those “I need to put myself in timeout before someone gets hurt” kind of days. So, obviously, I’m going to tickle the guy who always makes me smile.

“You think you can take me, rodent?”

Nathan wasn’t putting up with that. “Don’t worry, Jude, I promise not to hurt you. Much.” He shushed Vince, who seemed to be trying to stop him, but Jude wasn’t a predator, just a cranky old moose. And a cornered squirrel was a deadly squirrel.

Jude pulled his t-shirt off over his head and threw it on the ground. “Come get me, you fuzzy-tailed rat.”

“Be right there.” Nathan grinned at him. The shivery, twisty sensation started in his stomach as his body got ready to shift. He stripped and handed his clothes to Vince. “Hold onto these for me, okay?”

“We can just leave. I’m sorry I talked you into this.” Vince’s beautiful face was pinched with worry.

Nathan kissed him and pushed him back in the crowd. “Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing.”