The Joy of Deadlines

Photo by LouAnn Clark on Pixabay

The summer is slipping away. In a mere few weeks, students will return to school for the fall semester. Here in the U.S., the arrival of Labor Day (first Monday in September) signals the unofficial end of summer and the official return to the usual hectic pace of the rest of the year.

For me, this summer has felt unusually long. Beginning as it did with my father’s death on the day after Memorial Day—coincidentally, the unofficial start to the summer—June was consumed mainly with the logistics of the memorial service, estate management, and working out a new Mom-care routine. As June slipped into July, my mind turned slowly to other matters, such as my novel-in-progress and my billable workload which, as in the past, lightened in the summer. I discovered the town pools and embarked on a semi-regular routine of swimming a few times a week. I signed up on several occasions to distribute vegetables after church, a simple task that requires nothing more rinsing off what has been harvested from the church garden and spreading the harvest on a table out by Farmington Avenue so anyone who wishes can enjoy garden-fresh produce.

Continue reading

Three Jobs, Maybe Four

Photo credit: Nathan Dumleo on Unsplash

Several years ago, David Handler gave a talk to aspiring writers at the inaugural Writers Weekend at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. David is a successful author who has been writing for decades. Inevitably in such a setting, someone asked about his writing life. David replied that he spent the morning writing and the afternoon working on his small business.

“What’s your small business?” someone else asked.

“Being an author,” he replied. He explained that in the afternoon, he routinely dealt with the business end of writing, including communications with his agent and his editor, correspondence with readers, and planning talks just like this one.

Continue reading

One more day

Tomorrow (December 1, 2021) is the official launch of my new novella, MY BROTHER, ROMEO!

As you can see, the managing editor of Tuxedo Cat Press, Charlotte, is already doing her part to get ready.

Small Business Saturday 2021

Stopped in at River Bend Bookshop in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on Small Business Saturday, and look what I saw on the shelf!

Support your local businesses this holiday season. Because they’re the ones who will support your community, your teams, your causes, and your dreams. (See Exhibit A, above.)

Crazy Busy

Ned

Last night, Daylight Saving Time came to an end for 2021, and we turned back the clocks. Many people lament the end of DST, but I love this change. Not because I’m fond of earlier darkness, but because the gift of an extra hour is so delicious.

On the whiteboard calendar over my desk, I mark different obligations in different colors. Appellate deadlines are in red, trial court deadlines are green, research deadlines are blue, and appointments are purple. This week is a sea of purple already: a doctor appointment, a presentation known as the Connecticut Forum, two dress rehearsals for the chorale concert, and the concert itself. Still to be scheduled is the repair of my boiler; the appointment for my vaccine booster needs to be rescheduled to ensure that recovering from it won’t bump up against the dress rehearsals. Three deadlines are in green, plus one in red.

Continue reading

WTF, Zuck?

Photo credit: Anita S. on Pixabay

The Book of Faces* informed me today that my account is “restricted.”

*Calling it this to avoid tripping any algorithms since I no longer have any idea what is or isn’t permissible on that platform.

The offense (to use the term loosely) which gave rise to this restriction was my response to a commenter who claimed that covid is no big deal and he knows because he just had a couple days of sniffles. Rather than pointing out the 700,000 people who have died from this virus in the past 19 months, I merely responded “So far” and provided a link to an article from the Centers for Disease Control about after-effects of covid a/k/a “long covid” which, according to said article, can surface several months after one has been ill. I didn’t call him an idiot or a fool, nor did I wish anything ill on him. I simply pointed out a resource that disagreed with his blithe view of a deadly virus.

Nonetheless, based on this post, my account has been restricted.

Continue reading

Guest Post: A Word from Our Managing Editor

The managing editor of Tuxedo Cat Press would like to share a few thoughts.

********

Dear Readers,

My name is Charlotte Antoinette Burgh. Once upon a time, I was a pregnant stray. Then, I was a shelter kitty, waiting to be adopted while my adorable little kittens easily found homes.

Today, I am the managing editor of Tuxedo Cat Press.

It wasn’t an easy road. My time on the streets was rocky. In addition to getting knocked up, I got into a few scuffles that left me with a scar on my nose and another on my eye. Not terrible, but enough that some potential adopters didn’t think I was pretty enough.

Screw them. I’m gorgeous.

Continue reading

Reclaiming Fun

Photo credit: Free-Photos on Pixabay

When I was in high school, I wrote constantly. Stories spilled out of my brain, and my pencil was barely swift enough to catch them all. Sprawled on my bed, upright at my desk, out on the swing (where the stories raced around my mind, here and gone in nearly the same instant). Summer nights while the rest of the family slumbered, the hours ticking away as I reveled in my made-up world.

Continue reading

Momentum

Today was the sixth consecutive day on which I devoted an hour to writing the sequel to State v. Claus. If you’re a disciplined writer with an orderly writing practice, a six-day stretch may not sound terribly impressive, but trust me: you should be impressed. Continue reading

Festive Book Selfie!

Gorgeous book selfie from dear friend and avid reader Kathleen Morrison Grover.

Her caption: “I couldn’t fit all 5 copies in the photo.” (Sorry if I’ve spoiled somebody’s Christmas surprise!)

Thanks, K!