December 9th: Made my hotel reservations for Philadelphia in January. Am attending a zoom at 12:30 about learning my way around the conference, which will be good but I'll have to be ready for work because I plan to walk today. Got my hours for Christmas week and all I got was four. Four hours, not four days. Grief. It'll be easier to quit, which I'll do on Monday, saying it doesn't appear I'm needed there anymore, and it's become too painful all around to stay. That's it. Nice paycheck this time, though, to get us through the holidays. The rest between now and the end will be small unless I can get called in on days over the holidays when I have nothing else to do. Finished the edit of AD2M, loving it but there are a few plot holes to fix yet. Emailed one of the publishers who gave me the most hope on it to tell him what I did and he just said "good going" or the like and didn't ask to see it again. Found a private collector to give a free copy to and emailed him for his mailing address. He told me he has lots more! Oh boy! Imagine all there is in Illinois I'm not getting my hands on. Decided when I got to SAA convention I'll give away (YES GIVE AWAY) to any one professional the rest of the data, not including Wisconsin. Those two I'll finish myself, after New Mexico. More work needs to be done on gathering and I just don't have the energy to do it. I'll also keep all rights to the manuals I do get done, if more materials are found for those. Have plans for Rockford tomorrow but they might need canceling, putting off until Monday, darn it. Things are not falling into place there. Time to jump back into Virginia City and then it's on to Of Gods and Friends. Man, I need a publisher. But nothing much more is going to happen the rest of this year.
December 8th: Sad day of remembrance for John Lennon. But I am happy to have chosen American Historical Society over Western Writers of America. For one, I'll always be a historian but I don't have much left in me for writing westerns, not since I can't sell Saving Boone. Is that a western? Well, it has horses in it. Hmmm, maybe I should have had a wild horse herd on the cover. Anyway, I posted about From Lincoln to Trump at their community site when a teacher asked about use of some resources, and this morning I had a Kindle sale. I love this book. I learned so much writing it and readers will, too. The third edition will have added the rest of Trump, his final demise, so to speak, and where the Republicans seem to be headed from there. Second edition was necessary because I wanted an index, and I added a project I developed during my BA, about how the political parties evolved from the beginning. My professor told me it couldn't be done, so I did it for him. BIG floor cleaning project done yesterday. Happy about that, but not how that new mop worked. Used that last day to get back on Dean's Health, as my agent said they had terminated me so I had to re-apply. Whew! He was able to clarify things in a way the Anthem people did not. Now I know why I'm quitting the job. I'm sitting here in fear of scheduling anything because they might call and need me. I don't want to live like that. I want a regular schedule, or forget it. I mean, to make me feel bad because I can't work when or as long as they want? Like I'm some kind of robot? Today's plan is to finish AD2M so I can get back to Virginia City. Joe stopped writing to me. I don't know what that means.
December 7th: Oh, this month is going too fast. I'm not ready for 2023 yet! Are you? Yesterday I was going to get some great work done on Illinois, having a ball seeing the summary map emerge. Then I get called to work. Well, I said I couldn't work to 7 as I had a meeting but I could work to 6:30. I'm not missing things for that place anymore. Anyway, he said okay so I scrambled to work. I'm sure this is why he gave me only one day next week, he knows how many are going to start "calling in sick" over the holidays. Anyway, he didn't mention to our lead that I was leaving at 6:30, probably hoping I'd change my mind. I didn't. You see, I put my name in with the Rock County Democrats to be their secretary and this was election night. The place was packed! If two or more wanted the position, they had a ballot vote. And those two competitors would stand for a few minutes and say why they wanted the job. Well, secretary was the only other position having two candidates, so I bowed out. Said I applied because typically that was a hard position to fill. Good move on my part, because the interim secretary was the other candidate, and she was already taking the minutes. I'm very intuitive, but I also saved time not having to count ballots. And I'm new there, I figured I didn't have a chance anyway. Well, then they announced that no one applied to be treasurer, so they opened the floor to nominations. Yup! You got it. You're looking at the new treasurer. I've never been one but I've always been good with money and accounting, often thought I missed my calling. Now waiting for the call to go to the bank and sign some forms with the new chair person. As I said, a new me in 2023! Now today is mopping floors day and that's a real challenge in a house with ceramic tile living and dining areas. Fingers crossed I don't get called in. You see, I feel I need to work if I can because I do plan to quit the end of the year. I'm only not quitting now because I know they need that coverage over the holidays. Which is why, if they ask me, and I can go in, I will. I hesitate signing up for JPAC on Sunday for that reason. But at the same time, should I not schedule anything because they might call? Not liking that idea, either. I think JPAC bartending and the Rock County Historical Society are also part of my future. The biggest fear I had happened last night, which was why I slept in this morning, I guess. Perseus got outside. Yeah, and Joe never plugged the holes in the fence. I told him Perseus is going to want to go out. His personality is just too big for indoors, and he had been a stray, but I want him to stay inside the fence, and I think he will if there are no holes in it. Anyway, Keanu was still out and the two of us chased after him. Turned out we didn't need to. He got cold and waited for me on the porch. Scary though, not knowing what a new cat will do. Then Keanu wouldn't come in and made me chase after her. When she finally let me pick her up, she was purring. She needs assurance that I still love her. That I wasn't trying to replace her.
December 6th: I was excited yesterday when I saw that JULS had sold a copy before realizing it was a copy I bought. I'm entering it into a book competition as a historical novel. Not as a horror. I think history is where it excels. Certainly isn't scary enough to be horror. Perseus had a bit of an issue with older male Matrix yesterday. I wasn't home. Joe told me Matrix, a big white, held little Perseus in a bear hug for a good 9 minutes. Maybe trying to calm him down? I don't know. But it took the rest of that night before Perseus would even look at Matrix again. Keanu doesn't shy away from Percy as before but still hisses if he gets too close. I was thinking about, oh, why females don't get along with other females. We rarely had more than one female at a time, but several males. LeeLou was an exception. She was a Birman. Not sure what there is about them, but she's very gentle. My brother finally adopted her because we had too many cats and she preferred him. Then there was Desi. She came to us as a stray Snowshoe Siamese. She and Pokey pretty much ignored each other. Desi was not at all aggressive, until we had Keanu and her siblings in the house. She hated that! And ran off. Females tend to have lower tolerance. We kept one of Pokey's kittens, Aurora, and she ended up running off. And then there's Keanu's kitten, Pumpkin. Oh, I wish we could have kept her. But she started bullying Keanu. Weirdest thing I ever saw. Anyway, to get back on track, if you're looking for a good historical read with some thrills thrown in, you could do worse than Journal of an Undead: Love Stories. See the excerpt page for the selling link. Am having a good time with Ilinois, in its final stages, prepping the summary map, and with AD2M, enjoying the changes, hoping it's more mysterious this way.
December 4th: A couple of fun tidbits this morning. First if there are any of my Pensaukee readers still out there, I found an obscure little note on the back side of a printout from Oconto's library that says: November 13, 1879 - "Gardner has re-purchased the Pensaukee property and intends to place it in first class shape for an extensive business -- good news to everyone living in the vicinity." Well, if you read the book you know what happened there. I am surprised this info did not make the book. I'm curious now how he lost the property to begin with, but it must have happened after his hotel was destroyed by the tornado. If I lived in the area, I would try to find that information. But newspapers are a limited source, and I'm not sure where else to look. Maybe I should share this with Pete at the Title office there. Then, as promised, here's what the Buddha believes is our true sources of happiness today: economic security acquired by just and righteous means; spending the same liberally on loved ones and desired charities; be free from debt (I imagine that means owing no one anything); and to live a faultless and pure life, free from evil thoughts, words and deeds. There you have it. Your guide for life. I'm curious about his relationship to Confucius, because it seems they have many of the same philosophies in common. They were both before the birth of Christianity. Yesterday didn't get much done. Worked a little on AD2M but also had to film an audition that required me to sing a fight song I had to learn first. Filiming is within two weeks and I happen to have all those days free as he's not scheduling me much. So fingers crossed! I found out my editing software disappeared so I had to go and download it again. If you got Windows 11 you better check. I searched on video editor and it led me to the one I used to have to download. Didn't help me with my submission yesterday thought. Had another book sale yesterday, I hope someone bought From Lincoln To Trump because they appreciated my Black Migration article. I need to come up with three questions to answer in that book I'm planning. Also, when Trump is finally DONE -- as in out of the political picture -- I'll do a final edit to that book. Also aging body pain comes from inactivity, not activity. Aching hip out of bed this morning gets better as I move around. So don't stop moving around! That's the good thing about the job. Also managed to cancel Anthem medicare myself, so much for having agents. Hopefully Dean's will stay active, but I did put my name in for a call.
December 3rd: It was do or die time for Dean's Health. I met with a new doctor to get my prescription refilled, that was a 9 a.m. appointment, and Dr. K is one of the good ones. He listened to my concerns, and he too suggested a dietician. Said he could run a test for a aortal aneuryism potential but in women that's typically hard to find that way. I said, I'm okay waiting for the pain to increase. Anyway, that, and the fact that I cannot find a good supplemental Delta Dental plan means I'm sticking with Dean's. I also picked up a Beloit project that will keep me in the area at least a year, as will these three cats, since I don't know of a single apartment that will take more than two. So here I am, resigned. But I have trips planned and that helps. I'll go to PA in January IF the weather is good on the way there. I don't care about the way back. (I never do.) March is Seattle and Portland and for my birthday, if money holds out, Santa Fe. I'll be working on the New Mexico manual by then, and I'll take the train, which I've always wanted to do.
December 1st: Did you get a chance to read my new blog yet? I think I might have something there. And that something is what was simmering beneath the "yes sir" and "no sir" of the first half of the 20th century. People who didn't know slavery directly but were taught to know their place through white intimidation. Sad world, the US, and so many just don't want the truth. Well, there it is. And we're still living it! That's what's shameful.
November 30th: Today's the day! Omigosh, it's also the last day of November. Weird. How'd that happen. Anyway, I have posted my new blog, "Emmett Till and the Beloit Migration Project." Enjoy! It's going to make an eye-opening book of the times, I think, and has given me renewed desire to stay in Beloit. For a while anyway. We also got a new cat. We call him Perseus. He's adorable. About five months. He keeps trying to play with Matrix, but Matrix is having none of it. I hope Keanu gets used to him. He has a very respectful streak to him, though he sometimes acts like a maniac. He's also very smart. I wanted to keep him in the lower storage room where I had everything set up for him, until he learned the litter box, and while I was sitting there, him wanting to get out and me telling him, no, I have to see you use the litter box. He walked over and used the litter box. So then I had to let him out. This morning again it seemed he needed one so I carried him down there. He was distracted by the tunnel, but then ran in there. I let him find his way back up, so hopefully he'll figure it out. I'll have to put the house back in order again so he doesn't think he'll be trapped down there again. I also had the collar and leash on him, when I first let him out to explore because he's so darned fast. I think he'll enjoy going outside that way. Eventually.
November 29th: This morning is going so fabulously weird that I've not had time to jump in here. But I'm also working on the Till Project and want to have something to post ... oh, I better wait until tomorrow because even once I get it together, I still want to re-edit before posting so better if it sits a day. I'm going to look at a potential new cat at noon, maybe a Maine Coon breed (always wanted one) and am getting a $200 refund on SAA conference because I'm a volunteer there PLUS was just told that they'll upload the photos I need at Penn Museum so I don't have to visit during the AHA conference in January or pay the $300 because the guy won't be there then - I mean, this is all cool stuff! Anyway, I am working on the article but with all these distractions it's been slow going. Might go to a movie this afternoon, too, after a 1:00 zoom. Do I care if I'm only fill-in at work? Not at all. I could probably then stay employed forever! If he schedules me for days I told him I need off he'll just have to unschedule me. I gave him enough heads up on it. It's just nuts how things go there, I could probably work the Janesville one, if I wanted to, that boss likes me. He's the one who hired me. I see him at our district meetings. Anyway, I also have to call Von Maur as it appears I didn't get my drivers license back yesterday! Argh! That's in Madison. But I can finish this book i'm working on and go back there, I guess, maybe Friday if we don't see a movie today. I found out I can order and have them ship right from there, I don't need to ship online, which I can't do until I actually physically get their card.
November 26th: I really need to give you something for intrusticating me with your daily lives, even though I will never know most of you. Yesterday I played driver to Glenview, not entrusting the wheel to Joe for once, and around Glenview, and no I did not buy marijauna. I'd rather smoke it than anything else but that never seems to be an option. Anyway, great fun playing with Carrie and Chris's cats and they do seem to be very good for them. Carrie's definitely looking more like her old self, the one she lost when she had to give us her cats. We borrowed a copy from Carrie and watched "The Mist" with Mar last night after she was in a good mood from the Family Restaurant fish fry and I know why people are mad at the ending now. It's quite a shocker, for sure!
November 24th: Well, this will be a day, here as well as where some of you are, so I guess I better get on it. My husband has the turkey sitting on the counter when I got up, so I immediately got it in a sink of cold water. We're only having my brother and aunt, but then tomorrow taking some leftovers (not all!) to my daughter's house. I decided yesterday that my husband plus this job are causing me too much stress so come the end of the year I will tell them that and resign. And I told my husband I am never going to work again and if we run out of money then we'll sell the house. That's it. That's the plan for the rest of our lives. I'm tired of flipping out. It hurts. I worked with chest pain all last night. Made mistakes. That's the other reason I'll quit. I make mistakes. I might go back to JPAC again on occasion but it appears my theater days really are behind me, and it hurts to be on the outside looking in. I can't get anywhere with my stage plays, either. I'm just not "It" as my English teacher once thought.
November 22nd: You know, reading this Buddhism book, it makes me wonder if they didn't somehow get it wrong. If they didn't somehow make it bigger than the Buddha meant. You know, like how Christianity expanded on Jesus, like, big time. Why try to prove there's no self when you accept that there's a consciousness? You can say yes, our consciousness, which is our sense of self, is also that part that thirsts for immortality, that craves excess, you might say, and this is basically what Buddha was against. So he pictured Nirvana as that place where we no longer can see ourselves, where thirst has ended and that is what stops reincarnation, which he reveals as the ultimate bliss. Now Buddha was talking in the language back then and you can imagine things get lost in the translation. Like trying to interpret these copper artifacts today. Many do not want to believe there was a trade network between Ilinois and Mexico, but that's because of the climate today. So people who try to interpret the Buddha as saying there's no self, they're really radicalizing it. What's that old saying? No, not campus diem. It's like, the simplest is often the best. Jesus hated the excesses he was seeing back then, too. He'd hate Christianity today. Right? I mean, the animals we know today don't have consciousness, so are they in Nirvana? Is that what the Buddha wanted for us? Order JULS, would you please? It's so sad for me to see it's not selling, and I promise, it is an interesting read, unlike anything else you've read.
November 19th: Got 3rd edition. Yay. Found an error, a silly little error. So that means it'll have to stay at that price for probably another 5 days, because I'm going to give the fixed version a little extra time. Learned my lesson about ordering it as soon as Amazon says it's ready! If you do get it with the silly little error, change the very last word before the Biblio to "cultures" - I have "writers" there. Imagine that. Sigh. I know I owe you a blog. It's part of a new historical project I want to work on, but I hesitate getting started because, doggonit, I want to finish Virginia City first. Right now I'm creating a "watch in order" episode guide list so people can see how out of timeline order the Bonanza episodes were, and I'll put that on my Facebook page. I was hoping I'd sell a few Bonanza novels when I got back but that's not happened yet. I was hoping for a legitimate review on Pensaukee to offset the two who only rated and I don't know what they liked and didn't like. I got 436 pages read of JULS for all of 44 cents, and I suppose that means a dozen people read as far as allowed and then didn't buy. Not a good sign.
November 17th: Got a good start on Archaeology of the Dead (AD2M), where I need to move up the murder to the third chapter instead of the 16th and where Luther's crime needs to be of selling fake artifacts he made. Once I get through the murder to see how well it works, I'll contact the publisher who might want to know about this edit. I got a review yesterday of my stage play Deadline. That was illuminating. It was from the Austin Film Fest where I'd entered it. Not one reader saw the point to it. My fear was that people would be annoyed at this use of real assassination victims but that wasn't it. They just want to know what the point of the play was. It's too bad they missed it. I felt it was vivid enough. And no, I don't feel like changing it. Once again, simply ahead of my time. I wonder if I can get it published without being produced. Yeah, at Amazon, but I'm thinking by a real play script production company.
November 15th: Came up with a couple ideas for my Vodcast: For Journal of an Undead it's "How not to fear the dark." For Civil War & Bloody Peace and From Lincoln to Trump it's "How to live in the future with the past" and then for an overall arch it's "How not to fear mortality."
November 13th: I got my wedge pillow but haven't reviewed it yet, because it has to properly expand. Keanu has decided she doesn't like it. I hope I don't slide off like she did! For now, I'm going over to the KT site and order some clothes. What the heck. Maybe I'll get that job in Green Bay someday. Yeah, ha, someday. Oh, and the offer I posted will disappear once it's been grabbed. Now for work today and then Madison to get back to work on the Illinois book tomorrow.
November 11th: The theater is still not a fun night out and it's because people are no longer being taught to pronunciate and to project. Do they think we enjoy a play if we can't follow what's going on? They use microphones but they're way overhead and most of these voices can't reach it. I get that university theater is often experimental and it would appear last night that the lead was a late re-cast, as she had to read a lot out of the script. Not that we could hear her, anyway. It was a nice set and good costumes, but honestly, can't a person be taught how to act blind? I played the lead in Wait Until Dark, so I know when it looks phony. Marty treated us and it's another thing he'll never do in Beloit again. That list grows. He's like me, I guess. I sent the email to resign from BAC. Just too much stress juggling that with my job.
November 10th: Yesterday I saw a chart to show the percentage of every age group voting red versus blue and saying how it's young who are voting more blue than red. But I believe that's true of all generations. The young always start out more liberal, and this capitalist world makes them conservative, and less likely to buy into whatever "lies" they believe politicians are spewing.
November 9th: You know how I said I would make '23 a new me, right? I'm querying publishers because that's the thing to do with a new novel, but it feels like having only SP books has given me a bad name in the publishing world. I get it. I never wanted or expected to be here. Yet I still want to make my novels as good as they can be and that means taking the time to submit and wait for responses; but if I don't get them, and feel the book is ready, just keep putting it up myself and move on. Right? I really like DMF, even though I now struggle to find a place to send it. It's been put through enough now for me to say this is it, it's ready. But is it? Spent a really rough morning trying to find someplace to send it. Crazy submission policies some of them have. Glad to see some Dems won, but it looks like Biden won't get his Democratic congress.
November 5th: I am red-lining Northern Wisconsin Copper Artifact Resource Manual to get changes for 3rd edition, and am quite embarrassed by all the errors in it. I hope some people contact me for a free one. I'm going to send one to MPM, for sure. Anyway, gotta keep moving this morning. Family day, you know. Happy Birthday Joe, 72 today. But darn it, the DeLonghi I bought I only makes 5 cups! It was a pleasant day despite the wind and the chill but Carrie wasn't interested in the car wash so I drove her car there myself. Nice to report that I sold a Bonanza novel.
November 3rd: A day off. Sigh. I'll miss the feeling when I quit my job and all are days off. But 8 straight days of over 10,000 steps each - I estimated at over 100,000 steps. That's a lot. Only one wasn't for work, but we went to Madison and I had a lot of errands. We got to almost 80 degrees yesterday. Imagine that in southern Wisconsin in November. Used to be nice when we'd get to 60 on Joe's birthday, which is Saturday. Today I work at the art center but they're getting really good at ignoring me. I told them I have to work elections and can't make the meeting and not a single response? I am secretary, after all. It's tiring, this being ignored, by everyone. Publishers, my agency, auditions, BAC. I'm reading a book on Buddhism and the Four Noble Truths and it's inspired me to continue with Gaia. I'm an unrealized Buddhist.
November 2nd: Wait for it, wait for it! My first book appearance on TV! I was sent the link and I'll share this morning as soon as I get up. Okay, not as soon as, I had to shower. But here it is! My first book to be blurbed on TV! She gives an overview of Pensaukee: Voice of a Landscape, and includes a mention of learning more about the Green Bay area. So cool! https://www.wearegreenbay.com/local5live/must-read-books-from-the-farnsworth-public-library/
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: COPPER ARTIFACT RESOURCE MANUAL. These manuals include all the copper artifact data I've been gathering for over a decade in location table format. They would be appropriate for anyone who enjoys reading about the ancient past and their first metal technology, with lots of fun insights from professonals and a few theories of my own.
PENSAUKEE: Voice of a Landscape. A project began in my undergrad history degree, developed while I tried to get an environmental masters. This has the most complete body of research I've ever done, and includes all the history used to get Arndt's Sawmill Site on the National Register.
MICHIGAN: COPPER ARTIFACT RESOURCE MANUAL: This would be appropriate for anyone who enjoys reading about the ancient past and their first metal technology, with lots of fun insights from professonals and a few theories of my own.
FROM LINCOLN TO TRUMP: A Political Transformation, 2nd edition: Added features include a look at ALL presidential elections, and finishing Trump's presidency with much of his own words. You'll see more dedication to issues of economics, the Supreme Court, and women's rights, along with some cleaner text and less of my intrusive thoughts.
CIVIL WAR & BLOODY PEACE: FOLLOWING ORDERS, 2nd edition – a soldier's orders that are followed between 1862 and 1884 show relevance to today's world. Divisiveness today is easier to understand, and maybe even to deal with when we see the similarities related to race and equal rights. How did we get this way?
FELLING OF THE SONS – In 1860 Nevada, after the Paiute War, a father fights a nemesis out to destroy all he loves. His dilemma, when all three of his sons are in danger in different directions, which one does he rescue first?
MYSTIC FIRE – The Civil War in the East reaches Nevada when runaway slaves are sent to find a Cartwright to help stop Lincoln and end up tearing the family apart.
DANCING WITH CANNIBALS – Are cannibals monsters or real people? You might be surprised. Follow the adventures of two colonists to the Belgian Congo in 1906 and discover the reason some cultures eat human flesh, and how they struggled in this historical fiction to keep their world from being decimated.
SAVING BOONE: Legend of a Kiowa Son - This was previously published in unmarketable form with a horrible title and cover by All Things that Matter Press. Now in a new, more condensed edition, for young adult to adult, it has a great cover as you will see in the excerpts tab. It is very hard to find a publisher for an OOP book, especially one I never marketed.
THE BIGHORN DECEIT: An infantry soldier in 1876 feels torn between duty and what's right. A FINALIST IN THE 2020 CREATIVE WORLDS AWARD COMPETITION.
AWAKENED: In 1503 Greece a cowardly soldier loses control of his demons after enacting vengeance for his undeath.
THE MEXICAN WALL AFFAIR: A Mexican woman gets rescued beyond expectation when she calls to her gods for help. ENTERED INTO CINEQUEST 2021.
DEAD MAN'S PASS: A cattle drive turns deadly when the drovers are forced to take on an obsessed drifter.
IF IT RAINS IN PARIS: Secrets tear apart a mother, daughter and granddaughter while on vacation together far from home.
FINAL CURTAIN: An aging actress is not ready to give up the stage, but the stage is ready to move on without her.
WADE & AARON'S BRAVE NEW PLAN: What happens when two fellows don't understand that technology is taking over their lives.
DEADLINE: Envisioned as the afterlife of assassinated people, and a play that the characters can be cast as any age and any sex.
SAGA OF THE BUTCHER BROTHERS: Fun in a saloon when one of three "brothers" turnsout to be a sister.