Since I think everyone who reads here is also on my Facebook friends’ list, you already know I spent a good chunk of the past couple of weeks sidelined by a broken-down vehicle. I’d gone to pick my daughter up from work (an 80-mile round trip) and at the far end of things, the clutch went out.
It could’ve been much, much worse: it was stuck in neutral, vs. a gear, so we got it pushed off the roadway. It’s decent temperatures here so there was no risk of heat stroke. And thanks to cell phones, we were able to call for help without walking a mile and a half back to somewhere that had a phone. Yes, we were in the middle of nowhere. Specifically on one of the local Indian reservations. I’m not one of the people terrified to walk or drive on the Rez, but neither am I stupid enough to go walking at night, even assuming I was ambulatory enough to walk that far. I’m vastly better than I was this time last year, despite the foot issues, but still not ready for a marathon.
For the record, the last time we had the clutch done it cost us $1100, not exactly chump change. This time around, that number would simply not be possible. We’d be up a well-known creek, without a paddle to our name.
The good news is, the total repair bill was around $350. Still painful, but at least feasible. My daughter paid it out of her own vehicle funds, the money she’s been saving up to get her own car so I don’t HAVE to do two 80-mile round trips every day. I’ll pay her back soon as I can. We were trying to figure out how to juggle two jobs until that happens, and think we have that part resolved as well as possible.
So, not curtains for the vehicle, thank goodness.
Curtains for the house, on the other hand, are happening.
Yes, boys and girls, we’ve been all this time without any window coverings. The aluminum blinds bit the dust right away. The slats were fine, but forty years of Arizona heat, including the last ten sans any AC or cooling, meant the string pulls had all but disintegrated. Once we moved them to paint, the disintegration happened in all its fraying glory.
The place is certainly bright and cheery without curtains during the daytime, if you don’t mind the chaos of a rehab. But here in the desert, curtains also keep the sun from baking you indoors, and that has been a challenge and a half. G did all the living room drapes yesterday and today, and our bedroom is next on the list. I put up the tiers in the kitchen, because they’re on spring rods and didn’t require any carpentry to put them in. I still need to put up the valances, but those are a piece of cake.
The job interview yesterday was a mixed bag. I didn’t get the job. The money would have been nice, but as I battled my way home, I couldn’t help thinking I wouldn’t be able to do the daily commute. I’d be lying if I said I’m not kind of glad I didn’t get it.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a book cover and interior formatting for an acquaintance. Yes, I’m still doing book covers through customcoverpro.com. The friend’s current book is a non-fiction account of one of her client’s past-life regressions. She’s a licensed hypnotist, among other things. She has her client’s okay to publish the exchange – which is a good thing. Unlike similar books I’ve read, though, her entire accounting is a verbatim script of the regression, and reads like the dialogue in a play.
Person 1: Dialogue text dialogue
Person 2: Text dialogue text
It’s unique, I’ll give her that. The bulk of the book, however, is add-ons and self promotions. No, really – more than half the pages of the book are “authors note” and “testimonials” and so on. I’m not editing this one except for format, which is probably a good thing. I did suggest a fix for an extreme grammar crunch in one spot, otherwise I’m hands-off with regard to content editing.
Included in the add-ons are excerpts of her “fiction” books.
For anyone who’s done much writing, you’ll know what I mean when I say she takes “Mary Sue” to whole new levels. A Mary Sue book is one in which the writer inserts herself (or himself) as a character. The Mary Sue character is generally perfect: super powers, beautiful/handsome, brilliant, etc. You get the idea. It’s that person’s idealized picture of themselves. It’s wonderful to have that self-image. It’s bad form to use it as a character in a book. For this author, she takes it so far she gives her Mary Sue character her own name. In every story.
I’m going to have to talk to her about it. She isn’t an atrocious writer. Her style is naive, which is ironic considering her subject matter. But using her own name is just too much, even for a Mary Sue author. The good news is she’s generally pretty receptive to suggestions I’ve made. She wants to be a better author, and wants to be perceived as a professional. I’m going to do my best to get her there. Wish me luck.
Maybe that should be my new job: nursing along new authors, pointing out the pitfalls and helping them move forward to become better writers. I’ve been doing it for years now, anyway, might as well get paid for it.