Range Day – with special commentary by MSNBC

You know, I was just going to type this up as a regular old blog post to tell you guys about what I did this weekend. I started writing it yesterday, but then last night I watched the news to see what the reporting was like about the big Glenn Beck rally in DC. Inspired by the bastions of journalistic integrity of the news media, I am going to try and give my report about my weekend in a fair and unbiased journalistic manner, just like they do. I have invited Keith Olberman to be my guest editor for this blog post. This is the rough draft, so Keith’s comments are still in it.

This blog post is dedicated to Chris Matthews and the brave men, women, and Maddows of MSNBC.

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Originally I was hoping that I would be moving this weekend to the predominately white area of Utah in which I am building a house. However the overwhelmingly Caucasian staff of Rocky Mountain Power still hasn’t gotten our meter hooked up, so we were out of luck and were unable to close. The exceedingly white George Hill of the rabidly conservative Madogre.com told me about a factory range day that Basin Sports was putting on in Vernal.  So I went shooting.

 (Editor’s note – Minorities? No. Just targets. Editor – Bummer…)

Vernal (which is mostly white, and probably old) is a three hour drive from the more moderate Salt Lake City. So I carpooled with Nightcrawler (who is Finnish, which is like extra white) and two of his EOD tech friends.  Our vehicle was an overwhelmingly white Ford Explorer. Actually, it was red, but since I was the only “person of color” riding in it our vehicle was still 75% white.  In addition, Tony, who rode in the back seat looks kind of like one of the vampires from Twilight, so his extra whiteness and my lack of street cred bumped us to at least an 82%. This is entirely unacceptable, and MSNBC would be concerned. 

(Editor’s note – Were any of them in the Klan?  I don’t know. It didn’t come up.  Editor – We’ll just assume one of them is in the Klan)

During our journey I was able to learn more about the world of overwhelmingly white EOD technicians. Men want to be them and women want to be with them.  They are the Tip Of The Spear in the Global War On Terrorism. Or TOTS-GWOT for short, or you can just quickly make a triangle over your head with your fingers and shout TIP OF THE SPEAR! to acknowledge their level of awesomeness. 

(Editor’s note – You should add something here about Bush’s war.)

The factory range day is more of a gun-try than a gun-show.  Reps came out from a bunch of different companies and brought demo guns for everyone to shoot. You bought tickets and the tickets got you X number of rounds on the various guns.  It was really well attended with lots of very old, white people present

(Editor’s note –  MSNBC estimates that only 3 people actually attended this event).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQoLz4-g4iA&feature=player_embedded  (Editor’s note, have a bunch of little Klan hats photoshopped into the video in post production!)

Here is a video where various racist hate-mongers shot guns for fun. George Hill actually captured me on film saying that a specific HK product did not suck.  George may have tricked me, though, because he may be a Glenn Beck fan, and everyone knows how crafty those are.

We took a lunch break and went for Chinese food. My friend Steve was there and Steve was born in Taiwan. Between his Asian mysticism and my wise Latinohood, there were only two minorities in our group of ten. (Editor’s note – MSNBC estimates that only 1.6 persons ate lunch at the Imperial Dragon Buffet that day. Meanwhile, 50,000 people joined the Reverand Al Sharpton for lunch)   Since this meager 20% minority quota could get us fined by the EEOC, Nightcrawler volunteered to go sit in the car.  Khorne, Gundoctor, and Mad Ogre joined us, until they had to leave to get back work to oppressing the downtrodden.

As you can clearly see in the photo, I tried to block Gundoctor’s Caucasianess with the vertical foregrip of a Thompson in order to bring up our percentage. Look at Steve off to the side… Obviously being alienated and oppressed in a sea of angry crackers. And I don’t know what’s up with Khorne’s glasses, but they are pimp!

I sampled a bunch of guns. I really liked the Zeiss scope that was mounted on the Steyr SSG. The reticle is zeroed for 500 with stadia lines from 100 to 1000, all precalibrated for your load. I went three for three out to 600 yards playing with it. It was extremely clear, and now I want one. Unfortunately it is $2,800, which in this horrible Bush economy means that only rich fat-cat republicans will be able to own one. (Luckily I am a rich fat-cat republican, so this is good news!)  I swear by Rachel Maddow’s luxurious knuckle hair that I will own one of these someday.

(Editor’s note – that was simply uncalled for. (Keith dramatically removes his glasses, but still looks like a pansy) You are the Worst Person in the World. Dum Dum DU!) 

Then we drove home.  Howard Dean would have said that like most conservatives, we were rudderless, confused, easily infuriated, and driven only by our racist anger because the world has passed us by.  But that’s mostly because Howard Dean is just an asshole. The trip was actually rather nice.  Then I got a milkshake at McDonalds. Obviously, it was vanilla.

Hey Indiana shooters, go be on TV with Mad Mike

Sci-Fi author Mad Mike Williamson needs some experienced gunnies for a TV shoot 7-8 of September in Southern Indiana. Yes, that’s Tuesday and Wednesday.  Drop him an e-mail at mzmadmike@gmail.com for more details.  It pays a little, and offers a lot of fun, plus a professional screen credit. Don’t ask me, because that’s all I know.

Reminder: Uncle Hugo’s orders

Head’s up everybody. So far Uncle Hugo’s has received orders for around 150 autographed copies of MHV.  The blog count here was closer to 300 copies reserved. (so that’s what he ordered).  So if you posted that you wanted a copy, here is where you go to order:  http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/ah-correia-larry.php   I don’t want to leave them hanging.

Ask Correia 9: Character Development

Hi Larry,

This is a new writing question related to character development. Do you get in depth in figuring out your characters personalities, background, strengths, weaknesses, and histories? 

How much background do you think is enough to start with ‘parts’ and get a solid character off of your metaphorical Frankensteinian table and walking around in your story as a living, breathing ‘person’? What key things do you look for in a good character that you create?

-Scott

A very good question, Scott. Thanks. I like doing these Ask Correia posts.  I find that it really helps me to think this stuff through enough to put my answers into words for you guys. That way when I’m a panelist at a Con and somebody asks me a similar question, I don’t just sit there like an idiot.   

I like to think that I put a lot of effort into my characters, but I guess it really depends on how important that character is to that story.  The more important, the more fleshing out they get. Not that anybody should every be just a boring old cut-out, but you’re really better off spending your time on the important stuff that is actually going to end up in the book.  So for my main characters, I’ve usually got a lot of background information written down. For second-tier characters, I’ve got the pertinent stuff, and for the background cast, little to nothing canonical.  Sometimes a second-tier or even a background character will turn out to be more important. When that happens, you grow them.

As I’ve said before, I’m a note-taker and outliner.  I like to have a detailed character sketch for all the majors.  For example, I’ve got about a page on Owen, including tons of things that never enter into the books at all. These are the types of things to know about the character’s history to keep him consistent.  On my main characters, I know what TV shows they watch, where they went to school, and what teams they’re fans of. None of that will probably end up in the story, but it helps me imagine them better.

Sometimes a little factoid of a main character will end up on the page. Julie Shackleford went to Auburn.  Why? Because I said so. That ended up in the book, and apparently Auburn fans were pleased.  Alabama fans were unreachable for comment because they were busy rolling my car over and setting it on fire.   

Second-tier characters are important, but not as vital as your mains. I’ll have about a paragraph on these characters, physical descriptions, some defining traits, etc.  Sometimes a second-tier character will become more important than you expected. For example, Agent Myers was a second-tier character in MHI, but became much more important in MHV.  By the end of MHV he’s become a pivotal character, and the reader gets to know a lot about his back-story.

This evolution wasn’t really planned, but instead I found myself wondering more about Myers’ motivations. I had the story of why he hated MHI so much, but it had never been fleshed out.  It turned out to be an interesting side plot, so it ended up in the book, and I think it turned out rather well.

Background characters are the minor people that don’t really do much. They might get some dialog, but they’re not exactly earth-shaking. My notes for these people is usually a line with their name and what they’re in the book to do.   I don’t normally care what they ate for breakfast unless it is pertinent to the story.

To give you an idea of my process, for the Dead Six novels, co-author Mike and I put together a character list of every single character and did something like the above outline process. It is 19 pages long in order to cover 3 books.  These books cover a lot of ground though, and considering the huge amount of story, it is actually a pretty terse 19 pages.

This keeps you from making some stupid continuity errors. Like when your left-handers suddenly become righties, your brown eyes are blue, that kind of thing.  As somebody who writes riot-nerd weapon-speak, I also put notes on training, skill-levels, and equipment in there too.

I’m not suggesting this is the right way to do it. Everybody is different. If you’ve got an encyclopedia of information about the guy who walks the main character’s dog, or all your character notes for 50 people fit on a napkin, whatever. As long as the book is awesome, who cares?

You don’t need much to start with. Often, the character will develop themselves as you write them. The only things that get put into my official notes at the front are the things that are vitally important for the story. And even then, the beauty of word-processing is that going back and changing anything is a snap.  Usually I’ll have a very basic outline of what the character is, what they need to do, and what I aim to accomplish with them.

For example, I’ve talked about Trip and Holly before. Two of the most popular characters in MHI. Both came about because MHI was intended to take the tropes from monster movies and subvert them.  So both started as pretty standard stock characters, common in horror flicks, the hot-morally-ambivalent-snarky-kinda-bitchy-hot blonde chick and the black-guy-jock-sidekick.  Start counting how many movies you’ve seen with those character stereotypes… Yeah. You’re already out of fingers and you just got started. Because they’re in all of them.

Remember, the idea of MHI was that the new Hunters you’re meeting are the survivors of all those other horror movies.  So I started with the lame stereotypes and then I decided to try and twist them into interesting people that could plausibly exist.  Holly appears to be the typical blonde-slutty-chick (usually the foil for the Final Girl) only she turned out to be the single toughest individual in the whole story, with the harshest origin story, and she ended up as one of the most popular characters. Trip looks like the typical intimidating dreadlocked jock/thug character, only he turns out to be a devoutly religious, uber-geeky fantasy nerd.     

Everybody has unique traits, whether they are visual or personality based.  Milo shaved his head and braided his beard. (which is based on a friend of mine, who looks just as strange as you can imagine, until he eventually had to get a real job). Odd traits make us interesting, but don’t be too artificial and go too far the other way with a nonsensical trait that feels slapped on. My hero is tragically flawed because he is Lactose Intolerant! OH NOES!  

Nobody, and I mean nobody, is just as simple as a character stereotype. In real life, everyone thinks they’re the main character of their own story.  Everyone has a motivation. These motivations don’t have to be complicated, but they need to be there.  Everybody has a past. Once again, it doesn’t have to be spectacular either, but they come from somewhere.  The more important the character, the more the author needs to understand what makes them tick.

I’d say that being relatable to the reader is important, but I may be wrong here, and I just can’t think of any examples.  Personally, when I’m a reader, and I can relate to the character somehow, that helps me appreciate them more. I hesitate to use the word likability, because I love writing some unlikable villains. Maybe the word I’m looking for is fondness. The reader needs to enjoy that character, even if the reader is fond of that character because they’re evil, or because they love to hate them, whatever it is, a good character is somebody the readers enjoying have show up.

I’ll often have a real person or an actor in mind when I write a character. This helps me keep them (and especially their dialog) consistent. I’ve heard of other writers that will actually cut interesting looking people out of magazines, and use those photos as the basis for a character. I’ve never done that, and I’d hate to have to explain to my wife why I needed the craft scissors to make a collage, but hey, whatever works.

One thing to avoid, and I absolutely hate this, is when your character’s back-story doesn’t pass the smell test. How many thrillers have you read where the main character was a 24-year-old scientist-doctor-Navy SEAL-astronaut?  The government doesn’t spend millions of dollars training you to be an F-15 pilot and then suddenly send you to be a Force Recon commando.  Now, if you’ve got a karate master-rocket scientist, that’s plausible, because you can be a rocket scientist and still practice karate (or you could just be Travis Taylor in real life).  Fictional characters can be bigger and more interesting than real life, but their resume and skill sets should match what they could actually accomplish according to the laws of time and space.  Unless you’re Dirk Pitt, because then you can do whatever the hell you want,(out sword fight a samurai while defusing a nuclear bomb in space, no problem) because you’re Dirk Friggin’ Pitt.

On that note, some non-gun people may have thought that I overdid the skills of a certain accountant that could outshoot most SWAT teams, but the IPSC competitors and 3-gunners were all like “Aw yeah… I’m with you buddy. About time we get somebody realistic in fiction! Fire up the Dillon 550!” But I’ll leave that for when I talk about doing research.

One of my favorite fictional characters of all time is Repairman Jack, written by F. Paul Wilson. Jack is an amazing character, and if you’ve not read any of his books, you’re missing out.  Jack’s got a phenomenal back-story that makes his current resume (for lack of a better term) make perfect sense. He’s an interesting person, with likes, dislikes, and relationships.  When you first meet Jack in The Tomb, within a few chapters you feel like you really understand who he is and where he’s coming from.  The reader gets him.

The character can have flaws or traits that makes them much more interesting. One of the flawed protagonists that I’ve enjoyed recently is John Wayne Cleaver from Dan Wells’ excellent I Am Not a Serial Killer & Mr. Monster.  John is a teenage sociopath. He’d make an excellent serial killer and he’s very self-aware and analytical about that fact. He has rules that he obeys, like he can’t refer to other people as “it”.  Yet, Dan does such a stupendous job making this seemingly unrelatable person relatable that the reader is soon rooting for the character to succeed.  And when he occasionally screws up, it makes his slip so much more poignant.

Don’t try to be all edgy and dark and make your main character’s unlikable. If your main character is a completely irredeemable douche, then who cares how his story turns out? Maybe you can pull it off, and craft such an awesome story that the reader will overlook the fact your main character is a complete moron, but you’re rowing up hill on that one.  I’m excited for you guys to read Lorenzo in D6, because he is a narcissistic jerk, but an entertaining one. 

Just like real life, people have flaws, traits, loves, hates, passions. They make mistakes. Sometimes they’re smart, sometimes they’re stupid. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are dumber than a bag of rocks.  Our job is simple. We just need to make all those characters interesting enough for the readers to give us money.

Give the gift of kidneys so that Larry Correia can murder you for charity

Okay everybody, I mentioned this briefly once before, but now I’ve got details.  A local, and one of the organizers of the SLC convention, ConDuit, needs help.  Misha Hintze is a young man that needs a new kidney.  You can meet him here:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=124550997564075

His father, Kai Hintze, contacted the presenters from ConDuit to see if we would donate something for the charity auction they were doing. Kidney transplants cost a fortune. I didn’t really have anything interesting to physically donate to the auction, but I wanted to help.  So the lovely Mrs. Correia had the idea that I should donate Red Shirts.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshirt_(character) (for those of you that never watched Star Trek)

So you can help give the gift of kidneys and get murdered by Larry Correia! Everybody wins!  The amount is $50.

This is how it works. If you would like to have a character with your name appear (and probably die) in an upcoming Larry Correia novel here is what I got from Kai:
If people want to donate directly then they can write a tax deductible check
Make checks payable to:    West Jordan Rotary Service Foundation

Note in the memo section:      Misha Hintze Kidney Transplant

Please send to:   

          Kai Hintze
          3087 W 7140 S
          West Jordan, UT  84084
           
If they want to be red-shirted then I think that the cleanest thing is to write the check to the Rotary, but mail it to me so that I can put their name on the list. Then I will give the check to the Rotary when I touch base with them the next Tuesday. We update each other about status once a week on Tuesdays.

Thanks! – Kai

Okay? You guys got that?  Send your checks to Kai, but write them out to the West Jordan Rotary Service Foundation. (that way it is a tax deductible donation too, sorry, had to put on my accountant hat).  Don’t mail me anything. Kai will put together a list of names and then give them to me to use.  The $50 price was set because he put put the Corriea redshirting up at their Rotary charity auction and they had three takers at that price. So $50 it is.

EDIT:  Kai just told me that if you do the redshirt thing, then it wouldn’t be considered tax deductible by the IRS. Because that would be “value for value”.  It is tax deductible if you donate directly to the Rotary, but not for the redshirting. Thanks Government! I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you people are watching out for us.

On my end, after you’ve donated to Kai, you can contact me here or via e-mail if you’ve got any specific items of description that I might be able to use. (age, size, build, interesting factoids like: you’ve got a lazy eye, penchant for Mohawks, look suspiciously like Ernest Borgnine, etc.)

After that, all I can promise is that I will use your name for a character in an upcoming Larry Correia novel. I can’t promise how that character will be used. I can’t promise if they’ll live, die, or how horribly they will die. (well, they will probably die) I’m currently writing Monster Hunter Alpha, which has an exceedingly high body count, so I should be able to get you all in. If we raise lots of money for charity, then I will stretch that out and you will appear in some other book, but don’t worry, you will eventually get used in a Larry Correia novel. (aaaand you will more than likely die).  I will post to let you know which book you’re going to appear in, which will probably be Monster Hunter Alpha.

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In other news, if you posted in that thread about getting a signed copy of Monster Hunter Vendetta, I counted, and the books have been ordered. Please go to http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/ah-correia-larry.php and get your signed copies.

If you want to order a CorreiaTech Combat Wombat shirt (my portion of the proceeds are going to charity, specifically to Operation Baen Bulk to pay for shipping care packages to the troops) contact Mystik Waboose at mystikwaboose@yahoo.com

Coming soon: Ask Correia 9, more Tom Stranger, oh, and my house got delayed again because my builder is incapable of communication or scheduling and Rocky Mountain Power comes out only when they really feel like it, so I’m going shooting this weekend.

Order signed copies of Monster Hunter Vendetta now!

http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/ah-correia-larry.php

Okay, I can go ahead and make it official. As I talked about last week, I’m selling autographed copies of MHV through an indy bookstore that reports to the bestseller lists. The store in question is Uncle Hugo’s of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Who, some of you may remember, is also the guy who read my self published MHI and introduced me to Baen. Now Uncle Hugo’s is helping me out with this, too.

So if you responded in that last thread, I listened, and counted. Baen is going to ship several hundred copies to me to be signed, and then I’m sending them to Uncle Hugo’s.

In answer to the questions posed in the last thread, the price is just the normal cover price.  They do ship internationally and to APOs.

Thanks everyone. Let’s kick some butt and get onto some bestseller lists. :)

The Expendables

What can I say. It was awesome.  Don’t go expecting artsy. Don’t go expecting cinema. Movie reviewers will hate it. Don’t expect these characters to talk about their feelings.  Expect stuff to explode. A lot. And there is lots of shooting, stabbing, and shoot-stabbing. Then more exploding, coupled with some face-punching.  This movie asked the question, what kind of movie influenced Larry Correia’s childhood in the 80′s? Okay. Let’s make that movie. And then kick it until it explodes. 

Stallone is older than my Dad, and he cared enough to break multiple bones doing a fight scene with Steve Austin.  Critics may say that Stallone isn’t a good director, but I doubt most senior-citizen directors are willing to break their necks doing a scene with a man that routinely fights carnivorous dinosaurs for training purposes.  (I would, however, actively encourage Roman Polanski to do so).

I found that picture at: http://www.termlifeinsurance.org/expendables/  Where somebody actually took the time to add up how many people the various actors had killed in all their different movies.  Dolph Lundgren wins, but we all already knew that. He looks like a Viking and he’s got an IQ of like 180, of course Dolph wins. Are you going to argue with him about it?  He could write a Noble Prize winning essay on the mathmatics behind the gravitational flux of black holes and then roll that essay into a point and stab you in the neck with it.

You may hear people insult the Expendables. These people will usually cite some rule of film or something. They are wrong. They may talk about how the movie didn’t have enough plot, or emotion, or blah blah friggin’ blah. They are even more wrong, and I say that as a professional fiction writer. To me, story is really important, because that’s how I pay the bills.

But guess what? The Expendables has a story. It just isn’t the story the critics want it to be.  A good story makes a promise to the reader/viewer, and then goes about either fulfilling or challenging the reader/viewers ideas.  The Expendables makes a promise to kick bad guys in the teeth, stab them, throw them, shoot them, blow them up, and then set the bodies on fire, and it keeps that promise. Twice.  Science has taught us that Randy Couture can punch you so hard that you will actually catch on fire. Is he going to win any Oscars for his performance?  No. Do you think he cares?  SET YOU ON FIRE!

So, as you may have guessed, I liked the Expendables quite a bit. I recommend it.

Combat Wombats for Charity

Good news. Some of you already know Mystik Waboose. She travels the Convention circuit and sells cool shirts. She wanted to do a Combat Wombat shirt from the worlds of Tom Stranger. I agreed.  My share of the royalties on these are being donated to charity. Specifically, Operation Baen Bulk, so I can help pay the shipping on sending care packages to the troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  So this shirt is both awesome, and for a good cause.  I’ve cut and pasted Mystik’s message from Facebook below with the details:

Hi, The Combat Wombat shirt has just been released vor Pre Order. We will send the shirt to the printer on October 1st. We hope to be sending them out to arrive at the same time as Larry’s second release from Baen Books in his M.H.I. Saga, “Vendetta”.
The logo is a bold 11 inches from side to side and top to bottom.
Peop…le who Pre Order will be able to have a slogan added to the back. “Now With 70% More Wombat!” for no aditional charge. After Oct 1st the logo will only be available as a Special Order and will cost $5 more.

Prices are

Small to
X Large – $20 XLT – $23
2X – $22 2XLT – $25
3X – $24 3XLT – $27
4X – $26
5X – $28

Shipping and handling starts at $4. We give discounts for multiple shirts.

This is a Mystik Waboose Design with the original concept and artwork done by Rob Allen.
Larry Corriea is donating his royalties to Operation Baen Bulk to pay for shipping supplies to troops overseas.

I just tried the link to Mystik’s webpage and it seems to be down, but you can find her on FB at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mystik-Waboose-Clothier/109151045780060?v=info&ref=mf#!/pages/Mystik-Waboose-Clothier/109151045780060?v=wall&ref=mf 

EDIT:  If you want to contact Mystik directly, e-mail her at: mystikwaboose@yahoo.com and put COMBAT WOMBAT in the header.

In related news:  I’ve got several hundred copies of MHV coming my way shoon to sign, and I’ll be sending them to the bookstore mentioned in the last post. I’ll post all of their contact information and an ordering link next week.

Also coming next week, I’m doing something else for charity. This time to help the daughter of a local who is need of a kidney transplant. I’m auctioning off red-shirts. i.e. you donate $50 to this charity, and I’ll take your name and use it in an upcoming novel. I can’t promise how you’ll die, but I can promise that you probably will. The body count in Monster Hunter Alpha is rather steep. (well, not Ringo-steep, but the events of MHA aren’t a good time to live in Northern Michigan)  :)  Details coming next week, and I’ll steer you directly to the charity.

I need a headcount. Who wants an autographed 1st printing of Monster Hunter Vendetta?

Well, the time is almost here.  MHV officially releases in just over a month.

In the past I’ve just sold autographed copies here on the blog, which is awesome for me, and (I would hope) awesome for you, but there is one drawback to doing it that way. My blog doesn’t report to any bestseller lists. And one of the keys to building a writing career is to have your books show up on various bestseller lists.  MHI made it onto Entertainment Weekly and also onto Locus, both of which are big deals.  I’d like to get MHV up there too.

So, for this release, I’m going to autograph the books, and then they are going to go to a major independent book store. You guys can then order them from this particular bookstore. (and they’re awesome, so you shouldn’t have any issues there).  You get an autographed first printing when it first comes out, and I get to boost my stats. 

Once I get the details ironed out with the store, then I’ll go ahead and post who it is, and all their contact information.  

But I’m going to need to get an approximate headcount first, so I know how many books need to come to me first so that I can sign them, before I then ship them to the bookstore. So what I’d ask is that if you want to do this, please post in the comments below how many you want. Please be honest, because I want this to work out for the bookstore as well so we can continue to do this for future endeavors.

If you’ve got a blog or friends that are MH fans, please help me spread the word. I’d really appreciate it.

House delayed another week – AAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!

I found out yesterday that the house has been delayed another week. A week ago we thought we would be closing today. Well, heck, when we started this process, according to the ETA, we should have been living in the new house for a month now.  Building a house is an adventure. And not the good kind of adventure. More like the dreary middle part of the adventure where they walk to Mordor.

The downside of this is that the frustration level is high, the fact that we’ve got a large family crammed into a tiny apartment, and my total lack of workspace has meant that my writing productivity has suffered. The last few months have been the slowest that I’ve ever written.  I can normally do a couple thousand words in an evening and 10,000 in a weekend. Now I’m doing squat in the evenings and a couple thousand on the weekend. I need an office.  Badly.

Normally when I get frustrated, I can use my good old stand-by 80 lbs. punching bag.  20 minutes of knuckle-bleeding cardio punishment is a good stress managmeent tool. It is always there for me on those particularly annoying days. But it is in storage. Along with just about everything else we own.  And it has been. For 6 months. Wow. Thanks people who can’t stick to a schedule.

Plus, school starts next week. Which means we’ll get to move during the first week of school. Oh, and that means we get to commute to school again.  Three times a day now because we’ve got one in kindergarden. Yay. Oh, and my mother-in-law is coming to stay with us (bought airline tickets a long time ago, back when we thought we’d be living in our house for a month by now).  At least I actually really like my MiL, but it isn’t like I’ve got extra space.

My birthday is this week, so I’m going to go get all-you-can-eat sushi.  Raw tuna heals all wounds.

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