One of these things is not like the other: macabre surprises, police apathy, and this week’s goals

[Cross-posted #]

I just posted Episode 8 of This Old Haunt, in which Ron learns her true feelings and Sarah shows her true colors.


If you were following my Twitter stream last night, then you already know about the disturbing discovery I made yesterday while picking up trash in my front yard. We live on the corner of a busy arterial street, just a few blocks down from some pretty unsavory apartments, the kind that has been on the news for gang-related activities, and where we can hear gunshots fired on a fairly regular basis. The sidewalk running along our yard sees a lot of foot traffic, and I’m constantly having to pick up trash that people toss on our lawn. I’ve never found anything worse than broken beer bottles and cigarette butts, until yesterday.

There’s a fallen tree limb on the edge of our yard, near the sidewalk on the busy street. It’s too big to be moved without cutting it into smaller pieces, and since we have neither cutting tools nor the budget to hire someone to come cut it for us, it’s been lying there for quite a while (I’m thinking about posting a “Free firewood – cut it yourself!” ad on Craigslist, if I can get over my aversion to having strangers show up at my house toting chainsaws), and a lot of trash tends to gather underneath it. Usually, it’s just shopping bags, wrappers and other bits of paper and plastic that drift by and get caught. Yesterday, though, I found a bundle of clothes that had clearly been rolled up and purposely stashed there, underneath the heaviest part of the log. I pulled it out, unrolling it in the process, then dropped it and ran inside to tell Husband what I’d found: wrapped inside the first shirt was another that was completely caked with dried blood.

So we called the police, who sent out a cruiser to take a look. The officer who showed up took a look, shrugged, and told me that no violent crimes had been reported recently in the area, and that without a (known) victim there was no point in taking it in. Then she gave me a mildly condescending schpiel–apropos of nothing I said or asked–about how the real world doesn’t work like CSI and they can’t just scan the shirt to see whose blood it is. I told her about some gunshots we’d heard coming from those apartments a couple of nights ago, and again she shrugged and said that gunshots come from there all the time. Overall, she didn’t seem too concerned, and instructed me to just throw them in the trash, and left.

I was pretty flustered by the whole thing, so I didn’t argue and just did what she said, bagging them up and putting them out with our garbage. After I calmed down I realized I should probably hang onto them a few days in case somebody was reported missing, but then I got busy and forgot to retrieve them, and the trash was collected early this morning. I really wish I’d at least thought to take a picture. So before I forget any details–the outer shirt was a yellow and white striped polo with a logo that said Battle Creek. It had a large blood stain on the front. The inner shirt, from what I could tell through all the blood, was a plain white undershirt, and it was completely soaked through before it dried.

With that freaky bit of news out of the way, let’s get to the goal-setting for the week.

I think I can finally cross getting dressed and exercising off of my list, since those are happening pretty naturally now. Some days I still have to force myself, but they’re both getting done. I still need to clean my office, so that’s staying. And in light of yesterday’s events, we’re feeling pretty motivated to install a security storm door in our front entryway, so I’ll be making time to shop for that this week.

As for business goals, I need to do some accounting this week and figure out what I need to be doing about taxes. I kept putting that off since I wasn’t really making enough to have to worry about it, but now that business is picking up, I’d better get on that ball. I also need to figure out exactly how much my work needs to make to keep us afloat and set some formal goals to make that happen. I guess what that boils down to is that I need to develop a business plan. This’ll probably take more than a week, but I’m aiming to get a good start on it this week.

Writing goals still = novel revisions. I’m at a point where the stack of pages I’ve gone over is slightly bigger than the stack of pages I still need to edit. Once I get through the rest of that last stack, I’ll need to type up the changes and write several brand new scenes. So this is going to take a while. I’m aiming to have it done by mid-October, in time to start the prep-work for NaNoWriMo. Then in December I’ll give it one more pass (after having Husband and a couple of other folks read it), and have it ready to shop to agents by January. I was originally just going to post it online, but after all of the years of work I’ve put into this one, I think I owe it to myself to try to get it published the old-fashioned way before I look into any kind of self-publishing, online or otherwise.

So I’m looking at another busy week, and hopefully it will lack the kind of excitement we had yesterday.

Now its your turn. What’s on your plate this week? Did anything exciting or unusual happen with you over the weekend?