Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Posts tagged “photo

Today I Held a Hummingbird

Hummingbird feeders

What rain?



The Copper River (for real)

The Copper River (more or less) (more…)

On Creative Destruction

Free market enthusiasts like to tout the idea of “creative destruction,” the broad means by which, it is theorized, companies and ideas that are old or weak will fall to the wayside and new and better ideas will take their place.* In practice this idea falls down all the time, but at the moment I’m more interested in its positive phoenix-like connotations: from the ashes will arise something new. Something better.



Morning storm, night's work.

I got this shot first thing in the morning after overnight thunderstorms. It wasn’t there at the end of the previous day.

I’m happy to say that the work on the house is 98% done. I’ve still got lots of to-ing and fro-ing to do, but for the coming week at least, I can embrace writing again. In fact, I just sent off the latest draft of the manuscript to a couple more readers.

This afternoon it’s back to book #4 (in the series; manuscript #2) to try and re-structure my way into something interesting. This coming week is a bit of a breather, work-wise. I don’t have to drive 7 hours one way anywhere. I don’t have to work a 12 hour day anywhere. That might all change week after next, of course, and I still have to work every day. But at least some of that work gets to be writing.

Which brings me back to that rain web up above. How many things have to go just right for a web to turn out like that? How many things have to go just right for me to right the story that looks like that web?


It’s been a week. We got a buyer for the house, we lost a buyer for the house. We painted, we shingled, we dug.

No, we’re not done, but we are mighty close. Paint notes this week by one of my crew, I’m back on Friday, maybe install some more window wells, maybe just move more stuff out.

This was my view while I painted the north side of the house.

Green goes RedRooftop canyon. All that green? It went red. You can see, perhaps, that my neighbors’ gutters squish into my house. Yes, we’re that close. It made some of the painting on the north face pretty tricky.

Which didn’t stop Tim.

Climb, wriggle, wrangleFor the record, there’s just slightly less than 24″ between the houses. That Tim, he’s a good guy.

Next up, me and Farty the Dog take a road trip to the in-laws to unload some of our stuff from Milwaukee and to hang out a bit. But first – a relaxing holiday weekend.

Happy 4th!

double u double u double u dot dot dot

Work. Weather. Weary.

The house is looking smashing. It is on the market. These are good things. My crew of irregulars is beginning to dry up. This is not so good. Alvaro’s off to Houston. Brooklyn is teaching. Josh might be getting a Real Job. There are many things I can tackle solo, but standing up a 40′ extension ladder is not one of them. I can’t take it down by myself, either.

Shingles!For the record, that’s just an A-frame ladder up there. Not a 40′ extension ladder, which is what we use to get to the peak of the gable.

The interior of the house is done, which means that all of the rest of my work is weather-dependent. The 10-day forecast? Rain. Except for thunderstorms.

I’m living up in Milwaukee six days a week right now – I generally pull half days on Saturday so that I can get home, do three loads of laundry, and spend my Sundays paying bills and crunching numbers for how the job is going. Lisa’s working in the ‘burbs 5 days a week with a 70 minute commute, so last week and this I’ve got the dog with me.

Smelly puppyThis is her on our drive to and from Chicago on Wednesday, after she’d farted herself to sleep. In my truck cab.


This is her taking the wheel after I’ve been dawdling too long.

All of which is to say – the whole family is pretty freaking tired, even though we’re fairly excited and pleased with how everything is moving.

And! I got back comments from my latest beta reader, so I’m going through edits (sloooowwwly) on A Watchful Eye. I’m hoping that picks me up enough that I can think about going back to writing on the next one again, at some point.

Those Are the Breaks

Speed is of the essence, but there are only a few factors over which I have control – namely, what I can have my crew do on any given day. I can’t control their availability. I can make sure that they’re not stepping on one another, job-wise. I can’t control the weather.

Stormy weather

Spring in the upper midwest means that the forecast changes on a 6-12 hour timetable. As useless as a 10-day forecast typically is, a 2-day forecast currently suffers that same unpredictability. It rained 2 of my 6 work days last week, and winds gusted up to 45 mph on another day, so I didn’t get up on a ladder. This week’s forecast began with sun on Memorial Day, sun on Wednesday, and thunderstorms every other day. Bit by bit, the forecast has edged away and today is the third straight day of sun. The front of the house is primed and today we start the first coat of actual paint – thus getting rid of my strawberry-shortcake-tinted primer. Phew. It looks tasty, though.

My crew continues their good-natured work (yesterday this involved regular invocations of a “shellac-attack”), and in spite of my high subconscious stress level (as evidenced by the absurdly early hours at which I awake every day), when I’m at the house doing the work, it’s generally a pretty good time.

Plus which, the weather this week is breaking my way.