Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Blood Sucking for the Win!

Coronavirus Modified Vehicle

It was surreal today.

Due to my recent illness, my doctor ordered some blood tests for me. Not Covid, just my usual.

With my reduced immune-system, I was leery at best of going to the epicenter sick people. But rather go and get checked out, than end up in the hospital anyhow for something that could have been prevented.

I put on my lovely, handmade mask, and drove down. It was nice enough on the freeway for SoCal. Practically dead for what would normally be rush hour. The hospital has cordoned off all entrances except one, and they were checking everyone’s temperature. After a few failed attempts, the nurse finally passed me through. I received a sticker to prove I’d been checked, and off I went to the lab.

Usually, the lab is packed right before opening, which is why I hate going. This morning, only two other people were waiting. I took my number, and sat down to wait for them to open. I like that about the lab.  Doors are open, chairs are available, so you don’t have to stand in the hall. A “lab manager” came out to give us all instructions on how things would go, because it wasn’t going to be anything normal.

That was nice.

Covid Rush Hour
Usually, you don’t know if you should take the number and have a seat, take the number and stand in line, or just stand in line.  It’s always annoyed me how the desk workers snidely provide direction several minutes after someone walks in and looks around uncertain, then does the “wrong” thing.

Not today.

I get my blood drawn A LOT, so I know a good phlebotomist from one who is having a bad day. I got the bad morning drawer, and DAY-UM it hurt. She kept moving the needle around trying to find the vein.  I’m still sore.

After that, I was gone. The waiting room was still nearly dead, and so was the parking lot. Two things that are always overfilled and annoying. Crazy times.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

That's my desk and my Monster.
Hands OFF the Monster!

Slacking is what my marketing guru jokingly called me today as we were discussing my next newsletter. She wasn’t wrong. I’ve had a ton of stuff that I needed to do and simply haven’t done it. The novelty of working from home hasn’t quite worn off yet.

I’m extremely thankful that my job is one that: A) allows me to work from home; and B) allows me to work fulltime. I’m deeply concerned about all the friends, family, and acquaintances who have reported diminished or lost income due to the current global health crisis.

So, a quick update on what’s going on with me.

First, I was sick. It wasn’t Covid-19, but I’m extremely happy that my manager allowed me to start working from home nearly a full week before the orders in California came down strongly recommending stay-at-home. I was down for a good two weeks, and we had an interesting time getting DayQuil from the stores. Totally understandable given the panic that ensued the following week.

I’m better now.

I don’t love my desk, though. At one point, I became obsessed with rolltop desks, and through a friend in the furniture business, acquired one. It’s big, heavy, and hard to move around. It’s also dark under the hood.  It’s nice enough, and I’m happy to have it at all to work on. Set up was pretty quick once I headed home. All it took was a reasonably cheap monitor for me to hook my laptop into, and I was set. It took more time to clean off and clean out the rolltop desk than it did to actually set up my computer and get rolling.

I’m rolling now.

What a lovely bookmark!
Projects are apace. The Constable Aubrey novella—did I mention there’s a novella?—is still with my publisher for review. The audio version of THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE is moving forward. The same goes for the audio version of TEARS OF HEAVEN. I’m hoping to have more news for everyone in the coming months. Fingers crossed! I ran out of bookmarks from the Dickens' Festival in February, so I just ordered more. Those should be here in a couple weeks.

Books are still being written.

Work continues on the Marrin stand-alone book, the Jane stand-alone book, and the next Constable Aubrey novel. That is to say nothing is really happening. Bits and pieces of dialogue and scene description come to me from time to time, but actually sitting down, banging out the witty and the deep like I normally do when I’m on self-established deadlines. Rest assured, there will be more books, and they will be coming soonish if not soon.

Stay safe!

Above all, keep listening to the experts and following the advice being given. We’re still in the opening stages of this thing, and an abundance of caution is well warranted. It’s crazy to think that washing hands is one of the best things we can do—it almost seems TOO easy. But it’s true. My buddy, Dr. Rick, explained this too me repeatedly, and constantly urges me to continue the habit. Stay safe!