The New Word to Describe the Life of a Writer

conundrumnal: The state of being in a persistent paradox; A situation presenting a consistent conundrum

American Politicians  spend too much time raising money. They don’t have time to make good policy, or to care how it affects us.

If I want to spend more time writing, I am going to have to figure out how to sell my book, but if I spend my time selling it, I won’t have time to write. One of the things I like to do is make up new words. There are a few in my book. Today I want to introduce you to the word conundrumnal, because this problem of having to spend time selling books and not being able to write them is conundrumnal. I’m not saying this is original thought, but I don’t see that word in use. Certainly not in dictionaries.

war and vegetables a chronicle of the last gas station book cover

click that

My book is now in the Premium Catalogue at Smashwords, which means I can officially stop calling myself a Writer and start calling myself an Author if I feel like it. It might be a little pretentious,  but probably not presumptuous. It would be pretentious to call myself an author if I started referring to myself as such before at least selling a thousand books. You get the point though. I wrote a book, seventy two thousand plus words.

Below is a list of ways people all over the world can get my book if they find clicking the link above to be too easy. I am intrigued by this. What a great system Smashwords made. Technically, pretty much everyone on Earth can get my book now. What if they did? Then I could spend more time writing.

Kobo powers the ebook stores of multiple ebook retailers around the world.  Simply by distributing to Kobo via Smashwords, your books may also reach WH Smith in the UK, FNAC in France and Portugal, Livraria Cultura in Brazil, Angus & Robertson Bookworld in Australia, Bookworld in Australia, Indigo in Canada, Collins in Australia, Feltrinelli in Italy, bol.com in the Netherlands, Paper Plus in New Zealand, Play in Great Britain, Rakuten in Japan, Buy.com (now Rakuten) in the US, PriceMinister in France, Crossword and WHSmith in India, Eason & Son, Ltd in Ireland, Mondadori in Italy, The Paper Plus Group in New Zealand, National Book Store in the Philippines, Pick ‘N Pay in South Africa, La Central in Spain, Dogan in Turkey, participating Booksellers Association Stores in the UK, and participating American Booksellers Association stores in the US, and Orbile in Mexico (Orbile is a partnership between two large Mexican book retailers, Porrúa and Gandhi).

Inktera operates retail site Inktera.com and powers multiple apps across iOS and Google Play including Athanatos, Book Bronco, Caffeine Nights, Cricket Books, Digital Pretium, Digital Turbine eBooks, EverAfter, IndieReader, Inktera Books, MediaRewards, Morgan Rice, Oasis eBooks, OneClique, TribBooks, Versent Books, and EverAfter (app for romance); and operates Android ebook store apps for Cricket Wireless and Asus.

Baker & Taylor operates Blio, an ebook store and also operates Axis360, a major supplier of ebook checkout systems to public libraries.

Gardners, also mentioned above, powers hundreds of small white label ebook stores; operates Hive.co.uk which powers ecommerce operations for hundreds of physical stores; operates Askews & Holts, a large supplier of ebooks to public libraries in the UK and other countries; and operates VLeBooks which powers ebook checkout systems for academic libraries.

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Book Titles: I laughed into mine

Book Title

At some point during the third or fourth revision I was searching the internet for music, just trying to relax an overstimulated mind and maybe find some inspiration. I was listening to Beatles songs that are somewhat rare, like demos and outtakes. I heard the book title in an interview with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, where the interviewer was asking them questions about youth culture, and what, if any good they thought they could bring to the youth of their era.

Many people try to be conscious about what’s important, and what, if any good they might do. We all think too much, and wouldn’t it be a lovely world if we could all settle our heads with more music and humor, and other good things. The original, working title for this book was ‘Stellar Gas’.

You can find the entire, very much worth the listen Lennon and McCartney interview on Youtube

This is an excerpt:

Interviewer: Let’s stick to the young people, and to the areas that you think are most fruitful to try to help in. I mean, again, I asked before where you thought young people were going and you said maybe there’ll be a reaction to what they have now. How does this relate to the real world, as you see it, to issues of war and peace and family and country?
John Lennon: All issues are relative. So it relates like that. It’s all just relative to each other. War… and vegetables… It’s all just relative, you know. So there’s relativity and absolute, and that’s how it relates.
Paul McCartney: That’s great Johnny.
Interviewer: That’s kind of hard though, for some people, to interpret you.
John Lennon: Well, if they can’t interpret it, maybe they will later, or come to their own conclusions, but that’s the way I think it is.

John Lennon working class hero onUS flag by Robert Run

Lennon was taken from us before he could become a U.S. citizen

 

War and Vegetables: A Chronicle of the Last Gas Station is Available

corporatism-rigged-economy-war-vegetables-Preface: The devastation left in the wake of corporatism in much of the world was a war zone Even in the US it seemed like a war zone. The rights of individuals, their properties, communities, and small businesses were under attack, not mere metaphor in some cases. Solutions, some so simple, were suppressed in favor of archaic, toxic, and inefficient technologies Politicians enabled these policies and the results, and they worked a TV like a dancer’s prop, feigning opposition There were so many of us, and so few of them. Somehow they made us feel powerless. Perhaps it was the weaponry the constant trauma of fear porn, and the fake food, all helped along by the too slowly dissipating apparitions of TV projection. Regardless, it was a con. The Millenials were next, with the Public Record in the palms of their hands. www.war&veggies.com

click the photo to go to a purchase page

My book is now in the Premium Catalogue at Smashwords, which means I can officially stop calling myself a Writer and start calling myself an Author… if I feel like it. It might be a little pretentious. You get the point though. I wrote a book, a long book. Seventy Two Thousand plus words.

Here’s a list of ways people all over the world can get my book. If they find clicking the link above to be too easy.

Kobo powers the ebook stores of multiple ebook retailers around the world. Simply by distributing to Kobo via Smashwords, your books may also reach WH Smith in the UK, FNAC in France and Portugal, Livraria Cultura in Brazil, Angus & Robertson Bookworld in Australia, Bookworld in Australia, Indigo in Canada, Collins in Australia, Feltrinelli in Italy, bol.com in the Netherlands, Paper Plus in New Zealand, Play in Great Britain, Rakuten in Japan, Buy.com (now Rakuten) in the US, PriceMinister in France, Crossword and WHSmith in India, Eason & Son, Ltd in Ireland, Mondadori in Italy, The Paper Plus Group in New Zealand, National Book Store in the Philippines, Pick ‘N Pay in South Africa, La Central in Spain, Dogan in Turkey, participating Booksellers Association Stores in the UK, and participating American Booksellers Association stores in the US, and Orbile in Mexico (Orbile is a partnership between two large Mexican book retailers, Porrúa and Gandhi).

Inktera operates retail site Inktera.com and powers multiple apps across iOS and Google Play including Athanatos, Book Bronco, Caffeine Nights, Cricket Books, Digital Pretium, Digital Turbine eBooks, EverAfter, IndieReader, Inktera Books, MediaRewards, Morgan Rice, Oasis eBooks, OneClique, TribBooks, Versent Books, and EverAfter (app for romance); and operates Android ebook store apps for Cricket Wireless and Asus.

Baker & Taylor operates Blio, an ebook store and also operates Axis360, a major supplier of ebook checkout systems to public libraries.

Gardners, also mentioned above, powers hundreds of small white label ebook stores; operates Hive.co.uk which powers ecommerce operations for hundreds of physical stores; operates Askews & Holts, a large supplier of ebooks to public libraries in the UK and other countries; and operates VLeBooks which powers ebook checkout systems for academic libraries.

John Lennon, purposefulness and consciousness in decision making

I derived the title for my first book War and Vegetables from an interview with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, where the interviewer was asking them questions about youth culture, and what, if any good they thought they could bring to the youth of their era. At some point during the third revision I was searching the internet for music, just trying to relax an overstimulated mind and maybe find some inspiration. I was listening to Beatles songs that are somewhat rare, like demos and outtakes.

 

My first thought about the poignancy of the interview in relation to the themes in my book was that it was serendipitous and some kind of cosmic coincidence. I realized that this is always a theme, in and for any generation. Many people try to be conscious about what’s important, and what, if any good they might do. There is nothing serendipitous about it. We all think too much, and wouldn’t it be a lovely world if we could all settle our heads with more music and humor, and other good things. The original, working title for this book was ‘Stellar Gas’.

You can find the entire, very much worth the listen Lennon and McCartney interview here: http://j.mp/rr-w-v

Also on Soundcloud

This is an excerpt:

Interviewer: Let’s stick to the young people, and to the areas that you think are most fruitful to try to help in. I mean, again, I asked before where you thought young people were going and you said maybe there’ll be a reaction to what they have now. How does this relate to the real world, as you see it, to issues of war and peace and family and country?
John Lennon: All issues are relative. So it relates like that. It’s all just relative to each other… War… and vegetables… It’s all just relative, you know. So there’s relativity and absolute, and that’s how it relates.
Paul McCartney: That’s great Johnny.
Interviewer: That’s kind of hard though, for some people, to interpret you.
John Lennon: Well, if they can’t interpret it, maybe they will later, or come to their own conclusions, but that’s the way I think it is.

I hope you’ll visit the Book Website, which is different than the link above, and subscribe to updates. As soon as I have 50 orders I am going to send out a sample chapter.

I finished my nanowrmo 2013 writing with 50030 words.

50030 words in under 30 days, that’s what I did.

Now, if I can write another 30K to 50K next month, I will have a book.. It’s pretty exciting and I could not have done it without Nanowrimo.

I think I am going to need at least 30,000 more words to round this thing out. I have  couple of arcs that need work, they are going to need some development.

I went over to the Nano site to validate my word count, and even though it was 10 minutes till midnight, it said my event had ended, so either I entered my zip code or time zone wrong, or they are going by the Eastern Time Zone.

I was also not starting with a new idea, which I think you are supposed to do. I was working on something I had begun in the past. It was obvious too, because the characters are developed and there is a lot of back story… so maybe even if I had validated my word count, they might not have let me count it. I really have no idea, all I know is I have 50K words toward a novel.

That is really cool. I am going to finish this thing.

Nanowrimo2013: Not finishing Nanowrimo 2013 would feel goofy

so far, 33183 words.

It’s cool when you are getting something done that you have been working on for a while and it is finally coming together. I wondered about the word count, as I started writing I was not sure how long this book will be. I realize now it will be at least 80K words. I can’t imagine it taking less.

I really thought I was more behind in Nanowrimo 2013, but then I realized I update my word count after midnight, so I am not as far back as I thought. There is going to have to be some catch up writing again this weekend, but the story is getting nice. I have some rewrite to do later on today, and that will actually add words, and I have discovered the magic of the bridge chapter. What a bonus.

what not finishing nanowrimo 2013 will feel like

what not finishing nanowrimo 2013 would feel like

Nanowrimo: Picking up the pace in getting lost in the stories and the people and the situations

to date 28156 words.

Not much to say today except I made a huge gain in words today, it is flowing today and here is an excllent post from Paige Knorr, one of the community Liaisons for Nanowrimo. She nails it where she says:

I’ve always found the shore of Week Three to be the most exciting place to stand, and the trip through it the most exhilarating portion of the month. You’ve gotten to know your characters, the story has a discernible shape and trajectory, and it’s just so thrilling to go play in that world you’ve crafted.

It’s true, believe it.

the only thing is baseball.

weird for baseball

Cheater excerpt from a chapter:

Doing the wrong thing the right way is 100% worse than doing the right thing the wrong way. It’s possible to look really beautiful and athletic and artistic while doing the wrong thing and costing a run or costing a game. It’s also possible to look ridiculous while doing the right thing the wrong way. The latter is far more acceptable. It’s better to look stupid doing the right thing wrong, than to look brilliant doing the wrong thing right.  ~ Antler Pestle

Nanowrimo: It’s exactly half way through, exactly, as in no more, no less

So far, 21375 words.

This is a big session weekend. I am a little bit behind in my trajectory, so I want to do two 1500 word sessions for both Saturday and also Sunday.

cafe busteloThat will put me ahead enough so that for the rest of the month I can focus and write the way I like. Short sessions, late at night, when I am kind of tired. Another challenge is that I am out of coffee, and since I am writing during the day on Sat and Sun, that might be an issue. Hopefully by Sunday I am not battling headaches.. I do have some good, nice black tea, so that will ease things.

Yesterdays session expanded on some of the earlier anecdotes, but it also expanded the discussion about regional delivery systems and local food. As a bonus, there is the first recipe, yes, this book has recipes peppered into it. So… have a nice day.

 

 

Nanowrimo: Feel the burn, feel it! Gimme 30,000 more! (I can feel it)

So far it’s 19541 words

I really can feel it.It burns in a good way. Today taking some notes I came up with some directions that are going to give me the kind of distance I want to have.  Then I read this pap talk from Jeff Vandermeer, and that really eased any concerns I was having. I do some of the things he is suggesting, and i will go ahead and try some of the things I have never done.

In yesterday’s session we got into some really cool metrics on how to raise funds for a regional food system. Tackling a subject like this in a fiction novel is fun for me, because it gives life to ideas in a couple of different ways. Ways that I have seen with my eyes while dong different grass-roots things, and ways I would like to see, best case scenario.

In my mythology, Lentils represent possibility and optimism. Lentilism. ☮

In my mythology, Lentils represent possibility and optimism. Lentilism. ☮

Nanowrimo: Numbers and logistics can add a dimension to a story, and also attract a whole range of readers? Maybe?

16603 words so far, sneaking up on where I need to be but will still require a double session soon.

Since this is a story about, among subjects like a person finding their bearings in life, love, family, community, it is also about a business. There are some numbers involved, logistics, costs and agreements. That’s another set of readers I might be able to entertain.

I had not thought about it, but this is something that might attract readers I was not expecting. Albeit, one of the dual protagonist team is flunking out of business school. Alongside that this whole town is preparing itself to make it through some tough economic times.

Then, there I was lying in bed, thinking about the book after my writing session and I committed myself to the premise of my next book. I’m not even a quarter of the way through this one, I don’t think, and I am already thinking about the next one. Then, I go to the Nanorimo website and the pep-talk is by Bella Andre and guess what she is writing about?

brooklyn-bridge-painters-salignac1

Nanowrimo: When the story changes direction and minor characters play big roles

15128 words so far

There are minor characters, in terms of the relatively small amount of time they get from you, who play important roles in the story. This is what I am learning as I get into week two of nanowrimo. These characters set up the main characters in ways that support them, and the story.

How do you handle pretentious, political activists in real life when your motivations are not political? How about Federal informants and operatives who create problems when they can’t find any, just to bolster their careers and justify their budgets? Never mind the bailouts, what about the way no matter how small a community is, there are always the talentless who get special treatment just because they are connected?

The real world is shitty, even in a fiction novel.

boob-tube-geraldo-rivera-bill-maher-bill-oreilly-rachel-maddow-tv-baloney

tv baloney

Nanowrimo: Some things about long writing sessions and daytime writing sessions. I have my brain spasms at night

Nanowrimo 2013 Word count, 13546:

There are people who really thrive in long writing sessions. Others get paid big bucks to sit in a room and write and rewrite scripts and it requires that they work long hours. It must be nice, I guess. Considering some of the lousy stuff out there, some people think it is more about who you know than what you know or whether your material is any good. Well that is not as much true as you think.

So much of it has to do with your ability to organize your time and pack the most into your day possible. It’s like any business, it is a numbers game, and the more you can write in a shorter time, the more likely you will have -something- that you can use for income. Sometimes people get lucky and get some kind of break so their material gets out there and produced, but generally people who get work do so because they work a lot.

So even though it is true, and universally understood that there is some crap coming out of Hollywood, cut a little slack, because those people work pretty hard to get to material that is worth something. Can you imagine the giant piles of stinky garbage the people who buy scripts have to go through to find something worth doing for their studios? Yeah, no thanks. They deserve the money they make to tolerate that.

As for me, at least for now, I have this luxury of being able to have short sessions. I only like to write 1000-1500 words a day, and I like to write at night, when I am tired. My mind is more lucid when I’m tired. It also helps if I have a little ganja, but I sadly do not have any. Sometimes I have some ganj for a couple of days a week for my sessions and that helps keep things loose and lubricated up there, as long as I don’t over do it and as long as I don’t do it every day.

I’m falling a little behind on my trajectory for nanowrimo. I am going to have a double session to make up for it, but I will not do it all at once. I will space it out so I have two sessions in one day.

Yesterday’s session got into the characters evaluating some information they received from the dad of one of the dual protagonists. Some of what they heard seemed contradictory, but he was not able to complete his thoughts when he gave them, and he will continue later to clear things up.

i have my brain spasms at night

i have my brain spasms at night

Nanowrimo: I won’t get the two-week doldrums because I am writing for two

Nanowrimo 2013 Word count: 12377

So, about those doldrums, the two-week doldrums that the nanos warn against. I it’s not possible for me to get them. The reason is I’m writing for two.

One of the characters in my book is a writer, for anyone not catching on, I have to write his material too, because a part of this book is some of his writing, some prose, some poetry, one or two vignettes, and guess what else, a short novel. So yeah, this whole doldrums thing is outside the realm of possibility, because if I get tired of the main story, which is not even very likely, I can just switch over to this “other personality” and get busy with his material.

In the recent session I finally got into the fun stuff. It is a part of the story that I love the most, where the old school business guy kind of schools the young kids about business and the approach to making adjustments to meet the new situation in the country. There is more of this in the book, but I am glad I finally cracked that scenario.

And, guess what else. They eat Bison burgers.

running bison .gif

My first week of Nanowrimo is over and I am already better for it

Nanowrimo 2013  Word count is at 11218 right now.

Yesterday I wrote that I am going to tell you today about why I do not think I am going to get into the two-week doldrums. But the thing is that I did not get to the point where that comes into play, so by tomorrow I should be ready to get into that. What happened this session is that I got so into the relationships between my main characters that I was having too much fun to get into the next phase. So it was a bit more setting up, some further character development and a few anecdotes.

Finally, please let me show you this Nanowrimo Pep Talk by Malinda Lo. She is accurate, this is what it is like to sit down and write. It can be loathsome to get set up for the day, but once you get going it is very stimulating.

Come bother me tomorrow.. cheers.

shadow-of-plane-FB

NaNoWriMo day six, almost a whole week! wow

Ok, I am way into it now. Totally getting it done. After today it will be my first full week of writing.

Word count is at 10100 right now.

Today’s writing introduced the dad of one of the dual protagonists. We are getting ready to get into some of the more fun, business aspects of things now because he is getting ready to expound on the purpose of business, what he learned about the energy industry, and from that experience, and the adjustments society is getting ready to make going into the future.

At Nanowrimo they talk about the two-week doldrums.. I am not sure if that is a problem for me, and if I remember I will explain why in tomorrow’s post and word count update.

bbgs

I was offered the opportunity to get a free Micro Touch Razor if I wrote a review, and here is my honest review for the Micro Touch

I tried this razor, you might have seen it on TV, it is called the “Micro Touch Razor“. I thought it was interesting, I was allowed to have one as a promotion in exchange for writing an honest review, and this is my honest review. As in, what I really think.

What I know now, that I did not know before I used the Micro Touch is multi-blade razors are a SCAM. Just think about all that plastic in the landfills from disposable razors. That kind of thing really bothers me. It’s just something they do to get you to buy more things and it is awful because it fills up the landfills. I probably have a pickup-truck full of plastic razors just from myself in the landfills and I am just one guy. So think about one pick up truck for 10 million different guys, just from my generation. That’s ten million pick-up trucks full of scammy plastic razors all in the landfills for no good reason. How terrifying.

So let’s talk about the shave. I remember that my dad had something like this. It worked the exact same way. You turn the bottom and the blade carriage opens and there is a blade in there. I used to play with it because it was fun and mechanical and interesting, because little kids like that stuff. This one is actually nicer than my dad’s because he is really cheap, but don’t tell him I said that. The other thing that is noticeably different than my dad’s is the blades. These blades are so much thinner than may dad’s blades were. Then I opened the package with all the blades they give you, I think I have enough blades for at least a year, and I have to shave a lot because I am really manly, they gave me 24 blades. I noticed how thin the packages with each blade are. I  am going to be really straight with you here, Micro-Touch blade that is wrapped inside the outer paper envelope is thinner than the paper. I could not believe it. I think that is a part of the success of this product.

It’s the thinness of the blade. That’s how you get a close shave, not with a lot of blades, but with one, super sharp, super THIN blade. That’s the deal with the Micro Touch. So now when I am shaving, you know how it goes right? I’m standing up there in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, and I have this kick-ass, macho 50’s looking razor, like when men were men, and this gorgeous woman comes up and puts her arms around my shoulders and then takes her hand and strokes my face and squeezes her cheek against mine. There is this little bit of shaving cream that gets on her face and I don’t tell her about it because it’s funny and cute, and then.. well, you know what happens.

I am not some kind of hawker, I had a chance to test this thing out if I promised to write a review, and this is “what is”, it’s my honest thoughts about this razor. I won’t be using a different razor than this one. If I lose it, I will buy another one, and if I am getting on a plane where they won’t let you take razors and metal things because of the paranoia conditioning, then I will get one of the new waxed cardboard disposable razors for my trip and have them sent to where I am going, and I will wish I have my Micro Touch with me.

Micro Touch website product shotI’m not even getting paid to link to their website, that’s how good t is.

Downline and MLM businesses

I have never been one for the MLM networking, but I am a good programmer and site builder, and I now have the knowledge to build a matrix/ downline type website. If there is someone who has ever wanted to have your own, and has all the connects and networks to promote in, then you can contact me and I will consider building you one.

I know the difference between and honest business and a Ponzi scheme, so don’t waste my time with silliness.business puzzle

Some notes about caretaking: the commodification of time

Most of the physical work that needs to be done has to do with critter control.

There are many feral cats, many rodents, lots of skunks, many Deer, and the occasional Bear. The evidence and damage from Bears usually comes early in the Spring when they are waking up.  Then we never see them again all summer.

I have never needed to use poison for the skunks, although there were times I came close to making that call because it was getting to be too much.  Skunks do not get the message that they are not welcome, unless you do something that deters them. Throw a couple of rocks at the cats and they remember to steer clear of the front and the porch.

A light connected to the timer, pointed to shine under the front deck will keep he skunks away.  They are nocturnal and do not like light very much. When there is a skunk outside walking near the house, it smells like it is inside. Use a yellow bug light in the fixture that is shining under the porch to attract fewer bugs.  If you do not do this, you will learn your lesson… fair warning.

Keeping the garbage under control is also very important, and frankly, probably the most important thing

The smell of the garbage attracts critters, again, critter control. The smell also wafts around into the screen door and under the eaves into Apt. 2.

Check the garbage twice per day. Once in the afternoon to be sure that a tenant has not just thrown garbage in there without using the cans, which they do all the time.  Also, you might have to break down cardboard and open the bags they use and crush the plastic bottles so all the trash will fit. You can ask the tenants to do this but very few of them do it, and even the ones who do usually give up on that after a couple of weeks. I usually separate the cardboard and burn it every two weeks. This helps be sure I am leaving enough room to get everyone’s garbage into the cans in front of the house. You have to do this because of critter control. If you put plain garbage bags out there without cans and the cover on the cans, the crows, the feral cats, and the rodents will make you pay… every time. You will be cleaning up the garbage they spread all over the road, EVERY TIME. There is no reason for me to make this up. What would be the point?  Summer is rife with life around here and they love stinky garbage.

Also check it at night, before retiring. Make sure it is locked down.  You can tell the tenants to remember but you are the only one who can make yourself remember. You have to be sure that the garbage bin stays locked down and tight at night, because cats get in there and scare the heck out of you when they jump out, thankfully I never got scratched. It takes a long time to train people about keeping the garbage bin pin in place, but cats know instinctively how to get in there without being trained… And they come every night as part of their routine hunting and gathering to see if they can get in. 11:30-11:45, every night I hear noise by the bin, cats. If the cats get in there, you may not know it right away, or at all. But pretty much assume that if you do not lock it down over night that they have been in there.

You will know if Bears have been in there because they just take the whole bags to the other side of the hot-tub room and dump everything out, so once every couple of days check on the other side of the hot tub room for garbage. If there are Bears around, that is where they hang out, in the lot next door to the hot tub room, it does not happen very often, but if you walk around over there, along the property line, you will see Bear feces from time to time, again, usually only early in the season. Although this year, 2012, there were quite a few Bear sightings. Sometimes the garbage that gets dumped out over there isn’t even from here, it’s from some other place. So be sure to check that area because the tenants will not tell you, they don’t care, they’ll let garbage sit over there for weeks and not tell you, it’s not their job, they don’t have to, and they are not going to.  If they leave their garbage out, and it gets strewn around by critters, they will not clean it up; at least don’t assume they will. This might seem like some kind of easy job but you are a Hotel Groundskeeper as much as anything else. You have to clean up after them, and they know it, and you will do it. I GUARANTEE you will be cleaning up the messes of other people so it does not look like you live in a ghetto, GUARANTEED.

The garbage truck comes Tuesday, by anywhere from 9 am-10:30 am. I get the cans out there by 8:30 and if I have bags, I keep them in the bin and run them out to the truck so the birds and other critters don’t get into them.

Make sure the Hot Tub House stays locked

People store their things in there, there is a decommissioned Winter hot tub, and on top of that, there is a phone. The hot tub house has been broken into in the past; I have had to fix the door, probably just because someone knows there is a phone in there and wanted to use it. You have to take this seriously. Not just because it’s private property, but because the other line of that phone number belongs to the owner, and the caretaker lives on site. If someone is using that phone for crimes, they can get traced back to that line, and the caretaker could become a suspect in something. TAKE KEEPING THE HOT TUB ROOM LOCKED SERIOUSLY. There is a lot of poverty and weirdness that goes with that around here. Yes, there are wingnuts and tweakers and bored kids who are future criminals, just like anywhere else.

Lawn mowing

The best timing for mowing the lawn is about every 10-14 days.  In June and July it can get pretty long in 10 days and it doesn’t look great, but ten days is the pollen cycle for the insects and I like to keep them busy and not kill them off. I never use chemicals on the lawn for anything, or fertilizer. I have noticed that even if the lawn is short, the tenants have rarely used it for anything.  I have never mowed the lawn more than 5 times an entire Summer, once in June, twice in July, and once or twice in August. 

Mow the front all the way to the street on both sides, and next to the Building. Mow the back, and make a path the width of two lawnmowers all the way to the back road where the big stone is, the guy who lives across that road is weird and possessive about mowing all the way to the road because he owns that part that is overgrown, and there is no need to spend money on his lawn. The property markers are all obvious back there. But a path to the road is nice. There is a triangular area next to the property where the tree is that is not all this property, but mow it anyway, it provides clearance from the wild animals, and there is a nice shade tree back there, just do it. Then make a path from the other side of the french drain, around the pine tree, along the side of the hot tub house. Make that 1.5 – 2 width of a lawn mower. Now you have a clear path all the way around the property to walk around and see everything you need to see for security and maintenance and what not.

In front of the building, right in the driveway in front of the rock garden and also next to the empty lot is a bounty of chamomile. There are other edibles too, but they are more obscure. When you get up in the AM and there is dew, and it smells sweet and sleepy out there, that is fresh, raw organic chamomile. It’s a very nice thing to smell, and to keep around. It peaks for about 5 days in late June I think. Don’t mow that!! Pick it and store it and give it away. This year it was SUPER heavy, so it probably will be from now on.

 Weeds

I planted mustard in the rock garden this year and it completely ended any serious weed problem. Mustard outgrows weeds, it takes up their root space and it repels many insects. This is not the invasive wild mustard, this is non-threatening, good old fashioned Mustard Greens. It is not the prettiest thing in life, but you can eat it and it keeps it all low maintenance. Between that and all the other edibles out here you never have to buy salad from the store unless you want to.

 Wasps and Hornets

You have to walk around regularly and check for wasp and hornet nests. They are everywhere and we do use chemical sprays on those. The tenants will wait until it is really bad before they say anything.  Walk around and look under the eaves and under the decking and stairwells at least once a week, but twice a week in August when it is really dry.

 

Grilling

Grilling is permitted on the decks, but the decks are really dry. I always tell the tenants and remind them to keep a bucket or pot of water near their grills at all times when they are using it. Hardly anyone grills, but when they do I remind them.  I have never had to tell anyone twice about that. The image of a wood framed-building burning down is sticky.  Be vivid and descriptive about how quickly dry wood burns when you remind them.

Lights

The security lights are on a timer. You have to adjust it based on the time of year. It changes fast between Winter and Spring, and Autumn and Winter, especially with Daylight Savings Time. It’s really nice to have that light out there. It makes the place more secure, and it keeps a lot of critters away. It is easy to lose track of setting the timer as the seasons change. The lights on the hot tub house are motion sensor lights. Those are nice too. It might be nice to hook up another light on the other side of the building in the front. It would be easy to do with a cord connected to the T connector that is coming out of the bottom of the timer, or do it proper with some Romex coming from the outlet box.

 

Fire pit

The fire pit is the real deal. It is not a joke and it exceeds the building and fire codes around here.  It is the nicest fire pit around here for miles and I am very proud of it.  (link). Keep the bottom clear with a shovel. The bottom is concrete with some rock drainage, when you are scraping concrete with the shovel that is the bottom.  Use it for burning refuse or having a nice fire. It is deep, so if you want to have a warming fire in the evening, fill the bottom with rocks. The reason it’s not filled with rocks is for burning refuse. Refuse needs to have a deep fire to be safe.  A warming fire should be shallower so it radiates. If you start a real honest fire in there in the evening, and let the coals smolder all night… which is fine because it is deep, the ground all around the pit will be a thermal mass. The ground will still be warm and you will have embers 24 hours later. That thing is no joke. If it was lined with ceramic it would be a proper cook oven… for sure. I do not recommend cooking in there now though. The concrete and blocks could leech toxins into food. Cooking above it would be fine, but not in it. A cook spit would be perfect for this, and incredible. (Picture of a really nice cook spit)

Yesterday’s post about how really, really good you are

Today’s post is my 26th NaBloPoMo post

Humans are beautiful when we are at our best

It’s true. We humans can do some pretty amazing thing when we put our minds to it.

humans are beautiful when we are at our best

All those who misuse the powers of the universe for selfish ends find sooner or later that they must relinquish their hold upon their ill-gotten gains; and the penalty they pay is frightful indeed. To produce substance to feed the poor, to heal at a touch a withered hand, to raise the dead, and even to set aside natural law and perform, by the magic of alchemy, miracles of infinite wonder–this seems to mankind to be the ultimate in their use of heaven’s grace. -Sainte Germaine

wonderful, marvelous

 

 


Yesterday’s post about the wonderful energy of lentils

Today’s post is my 25th NaBloPoMo post


We fought for you until you woke up

This is a dream you had, and then it came true

We were in the same position you were in, and then we were telling you just like someone told us, that’s all. You knew the truth, and you slowly internalized it. Then, you heard it one more time and you acted on it. It’s never easy for anyone to admit being hoodwinked their whole life. We were ready for you, and since we were not partisan and political, we never said “I told you so”, because you were the next link in the chain to break free. Everyone was looking forward to your efforts and we were not going to ruin that by being spiteful and arrogant. Someone told us once, too. Then we told you.

The work you did was amazing, and it helped change everything and they thanked you for telling them, and for doing what you did to wake them up.

your beautiful, awkward epiphany.

i'm glad you had a good time at the mall.... but.

they thanked you for telling them and doing what you did to wake them up

 

Today’s post is my 23rd NaBloPoMo post

Yesterdays post about Black Friday