The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: illness

Killing My Darlings

All of my efforts to avoid catching my husband’s bug last week failed in their original intent, which became apparent Wednesday night when I realized I’d caught his sore throat. Thankfully, though, all that extra garlic and vitamin C I consumed did seem to lessen the severity of my illness, as it never moved up into my sinuses like it did with poor Matt. My sore throat lasted several days, and I felt pretty achy and run-down, but at least I could breathe. Even so, I’d anticipated being much sicker than what I ended up being and wrapped up my essential work early and gave myself a few days off to rest. That meant a pretty uneventful Easter Sunday, but at least it was relaxing. Now I’m feeling much better, albeit not quite 100 percent.

I didn’t write while I was feeling blechy. The last bit I did was Wednesday night, when I added 509 words to Radium Town. I added another 300 or so this morning, and then tonight I scrubbed more than 1300, including all of the excerpts I posted last week, because that scene just was not working. But then I started over on it and added 522 new words, and the scene is flowing much better now. That brings the total word count so far to 6,433. Here’s a rough, non-spoilery snapshot of today’s output:

Betty had been surprised to see the two cowboys, although if she’d thought about what Will had told her that morning about his father, she might have thought to expect him there. By the look on Will’s face when she’d first been shown into the parlor, he hadn’t expected her, either. Had there been approval mixed with the surprise on his face?

At first Betty had dismissed the notion. She wore a simple dress of pea-green silk and white cotton lace that she had sewn herself. It fit fine, and it was suitable enough for a formal dinner, but it hardly matched the finery of the mayors’ wives, or even the delicate cobalt embroidery on Mrs. Bayless’s black dress. She’d done her short brown hair up in such a way that it looked feminine and didn’t call attention to how little of it there was. She was presentable, but hardly dressed to draw attention.

Nevertheless, as they’d entered the dining room, Will had taken her arm and whispered, “You look right pretty tonight, Betty.”

She’d felt herself flush at the compliment, and warmth again started to spread across her chest and up her neck at the memory. A burst of laughter brought her back to the present, and she returned her attention to Tom Mix, who was regaling the other guests with an account of how Betty had bested Will that morning at the train station.

“Did you really shock him?” asked one of the wives. Betty wasn’t sure which was which, but was fairly certain it was Mrs. Rohde.

“Not enough to do permanent damage,” Betty assured her.

“I don’t know about that,” said Will. “Some of my hair got singed.”

“I said permanent,” Betty pointed out. “Hair will grow back.”

In other news, I finally started researching agents and agencies today. I also de-listed Dominion of the Damned from all the places that had it for sale. You might surmise that these two things are related, and you would be correct.  I’m sure I’ll have more to say about that in the coming days and weeks.

Of Green Dresses and Green Skies

Only 291 words added to Radium Town today. However, I brushed up on a lot of research, as my Pinterest board can attest. No, shut up, it was not just an excuse to be on Pinterest. I learned some useful things, mostly about ladies’ evening fashions in 1907, and that resulted in today’s rough, non-spoilery snapshot of today’s output:

Betty relinquished her wool cape and adjusted her dress. Despite her surprise that the professor had accepted the dinner invitation, such an invitation itself had been anticipated, and Betty had come prepared. Her dress was a simple number of pea green silk and white lace, lacking any elaborate detail. She had made it herself, and while years of working as a seamstress before the government got a hold of her had made her quite good at designing her own dresses, her work left her little time for embroidery or bead work. Still, it would do for a dinner dress, and more importantly, it had plenty of hidden pockets in the silk folds for hiding her weapons. Not that she expected to need them tonight; but she’d be negligent if she didn’t come prepared for the unexpected.

I also had a breakthrough in writing what might be the opening of a short story, but I’m not sure yet. Or rather, I don’t actually know what it’s about yet. I might just keep writing on it and see if it decides to tell me. On a whim, I submitted the first line for the opening line contest Chuck Wendig is hosting on his blog this week. Here’s my entry:

When the sky goes green, you take cover — if you’re smart; if not, you stand on the porch, crack open a beer, fire up the video camera, and wait.

I don’t know what that is, or even what genre it wants to be. I guess one thing’s for sure — springtime in Oklahoma means I’ve got tornadoes on the brain.

Otherwise, today was full of distraction and I was highly distractible. I did manage to finish finishing the laundry (i.e. folding and putting away the last load), so there’s that. My husband is sick, so a lot of my thoughts were occupied with concern for him, and also trying to make sure I don’t catch whatever he has. I’m not sure it’s working, because I’m coming down with a cough, but I’m highly suggestible when it comes to this sort of thing, so that might be psychosomatic. Here’s hoping that’s all it is.

We did our taxes on Saturday, so I didn’t have to worry about that. It didn’t turn out so well for us, but at least that’s one less thing I have to think about until next year.

And now I think I’m going to let my tired brain chill out and watch Supernatural, then try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I’ve got some client work lined up for tomorrow, so it’s best if I get a good night’s sleep.

Why being too focused is a bad thing.

[Cross-posted #]

If you’ve been reading the Twitter updates that get gathered up and posted here once a day, then you already know I’ve got a perfectly good excuse for not posting anything else last week–I was bogged down with a big web redesign project that the client needed done ASAP. I kept my head down in hyperfocus mode, coming up with mockup after mockup trying to capture what the clients wanted, and feeling frustrated and a bit depressed because everything I came up with was just passably adequate and completely uninspired. I was giving them everything they asked for, but nobody was happy with it.

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