Sunday, August 27, 2023

School days, school daze.

 School starts tomorrow. 

This summer had many great aspects, but I had a massive health challenge through which I'm working my way. Treatments and medication continue, but hopefully the main problem is fully resolved. Put most succinctly, that aspect of the summer was less than ideal, but I count myself quite lucky.

This semester will be great, and I expect to learn as much as I teach. I'm excited about teaching BritLit again, which is one of my favorites. I'm already practically hopping with excitement about teaching Samuel Pepys, who was a remarkable character, despite his shallow vanity. Also, I love the way his name is pronounced: peeps! 

The heat broke overnight. I'm in the hottest place in Texas, and the past couple of months have had more days over 110 F than below 100. Today is only 95, which sounds hot, until you compare it with 115. I will be taking a fan with me all over campus for my classes. Hopefully it won't be too brutal. In any case, fall semester is here, Summer heat will hopefully be winding up within a month, and I'm ready for some cold weather. 

Onwards and upwards. 

Out with some of the old...

 I finally replaced my phone that had woefully small (32G) storage. Found a great buy on a Samsung xcover, and it seems to be a superior phone, already. However, to upload all my old stuff to the new phone, all data and records could be transferred to the new phone except for the billions of text messages I have stored therein. Most of them I am happy to jettison. However, there are several text threads that happened with friends and family (group texts) around the time of Dad's death. I don't know why it hurts so bad to not have those in living in my phone forever. I don't know if this is mentally unhealthy. We can't keep every receipt and every little thing, can we? Also, I know that conversations about Dad are not the same as conversations WITH Dad. Just the same, it feels painful. I don't know. Possibly I wouldn't be ready to jettison them even when I'm getting ready to pop my clogs. 

This is all just a by-product of grief, and the feeling that I could never happily let go of Dad. Maybe reliving the days immediately after his death doesn't help the healing, but it's still what my heart wants.  All the physical objects are just things, replaceable or not, and however I want to view them as significant for the record they bear of a time, they don't change anything. More than anything, I'm happy and blessed to have such an excellent father, and I guess in the end, that is all that matters.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Moggies in Space! Part I

 Late last year, I composed a short story about a warrior princess cat who does vermin duty on a large spacefaring cargo ship. Sarah Clithero said "you know, cats in space would be a great topic for an anthology." 

Sarah was right, and Raconteur Press picked up the ball and ran with it. 

"Moggies in Space" is now live on Amazon. I think it's super cute, and I'm proud of the stories we compiled for that publication. 

Hee haw!

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

It's so hot. How hot is it? Hot.

 So, silly me. It's still hot. Not off the hook with this. I'm hoping for maybe a 90 degree average by my birthday in early October. J/K. I'm hoping for a blizzard for my birthday.

It turns out, since my two bouts with the 'rona, I'm extremely heat fragile. I be-bop along in the heat, and suddenly, I hit a wall and feel sick and faint. Possibly this is a combination of factors, including having a mild heat-stroke in marching band all those decades ago. Go figure. 

That's a thing, but it's not every thing. I've made progress on many fronts this summer, so I'm happy with the progress since I posted here on June 30. 

July was busy with trips to conventions in Chattanooga and Louisville. I had a grand time with friends at both conventions. We stayed with dear friends in Louisville, and it was so good just to hang out with them and get to know them better. The last weekend of July, I drove down to the Alpine area to visit my sister. After those 16/17 hour drives earlier in the month, the 7 hour drive to her house was a cakewalk.  

Tomorrow I'm heading for the Ozarks to see family and go with Mom to her 60th school reunion. It will be nice to see friends and family again. Also, this is another relatively short drive, so 9 hours will feel like nothing compared to the long hauls to Tennessee and Kentucky. Also, I'll be driving to a place that is presumably cooler, albeit with higher humidity.

I've been getting after it with my flowerbeds and making progress on that front. My best specimens are bearing up, with more watering this year than I've ever done. When it's looking less shabby, I'll try to post some photos for you.

School starts on August 28, so I have a few more weeks. However, I plan to get into my office next week and get as much of my syllabi and schedules completed as possible, so that I don't feel like I'm scrambling around just before school starts. As ever, I do love many aspects of the job and I look forward to seeing the shiny faces of my students then. I hope that I have a good effect on them. I try to be as positive as possible, and I try to demystify things like the composition of research papers. I hope they come to recognize that this type of writing is somewhat formulaic, and that they can crack the code and then only have to dread their own procrastination. The procrastination thing is the hardest to overcome. I'll let you know if I ever get there. 

Speaking of writing, I'm tucking back in to write a novel that I started a handful of years ago. It's funny and goofy, and I hope people will get a giggle out of it. I'm also working on another Mabel Murkwood story to submit for a Raconteur Press anthology that is coming up soon. This will be fun. 

In the most pressing news, on Friday our Raconteur anthology on cats in space will go live. I can't wait to see what people think of it. I love the variety of stories, and I hope you will, too. The deadline for Moggies II is the end of August, and we have some great stories to go there, too, but we've room for more. Moggies III will burst on the scene early next year. Good times at the scratchin' post! :) I'll try to get in here on Friday and post a live link to the book on Amazon. 

It's busy and hot, but this feels like progress. Onwards and upwards! <3