Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I hit my writing goal for July . . . LAST NIGHT! It’s been a long time since I’ve even attempted National Novel Writing Month, but I signed up for Camp NaNo this year and set a pretty high goal for myself. I can only write for about fifteen minutes at a time (a bit longer if I’ve just been to the chiropractor) so I’m excited to have hit my goal at all – let alone hit it early.  Here’s my prize:

No, I’m not kidding. I’m damn proud to be a validated winner and will be changing my personal FB profile pic momentarily! Also, I get 50% off any Scrivener product – I’ll be buying the Windows version since I’m addicted to the mechanical keyboard my sons gave me. So tell me, Scrivener users, what are your favorite components? Should I download a how-to book before I start using it or just dive in?

I’ve still got a few important scenes to get out of my head and into the MS, and one lingering awkward transition to figure out. Then I get to check the strength and placement of my hooks and do a read-through aloud. I haven’t done that before, but I’ve been told it’s a great way to find mistakes that would be missed otherwise.

And since I write erotica I’ll be reading when I’m the only one home and all windows are shut tight. Any erotica readers willing to be Beta readers when I get this ready?

#CampNaNoWinner2018

Heading to Camp!

Camp NaNoWriMo, that is! November is the traditional National Novel Writing Month, but Camp NaNo is July (as in NOW) and everyone gets to set their own goals (words, lines, hours, whatever) and work on whatever they like! I’m finishing and editing my current WIP, so if you don’t hear much from me that’s why. I’m planning thirty total hours of writing for the month. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can only sit upright for fifteen minutes or so without paying for it by lying in bed with ice packs covering my spine for a day or two afterwards. So my timer is my friend.

There are about a dozen fascinating people in my cabin and I’m looking forward to getting to know them! I built in a writing-free day for when my grandson arrives (due VERY soon) so I can read texts, talk on the phone, swoon over pictures, and hopefully see him on FaceTime!

DIY Comfort Vest For Your Dog

Yes, we’ve all seen ads for the pricey “dog shirts” that are sold to help dogs deal with anxiety caused by separation from their owners, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. I love my dogs to pieces, but I’m not plunking down that sort of money when I can DIY it for much less.

Got an ACE bandage? Preferably an older one? Safety pin? You’re ready!

Here’s Boss, our rescue dog. He has lots of issues. He evidently flunked out of drug-and-bomb-dog training in Tennessee and hit hard times soon thereafter. We adopted him when he was between foster homes after seeing only a blurry pic of him sitting on command. He caught a ride with my eldest on his way home from college for Christmas Break his Freshman year, and we’ve spoiled him rotten ever since. I haven’t ironed a shirt for my husband in years, but I starch and iron Boss’s bandannas. #justsayin Here he is before a storm moves in:

This is the perfect time to wrap him. Or just before dusk around Independence Day. Here’s how he looks fully wrapped:

Doesn’t he model well? He’s so picky, though! I wanted a nice picture in the backyard, but he insisted on the loveseat in my office. He does look nice in that lighting, though. Pardon the sheet. He was shedding.

I used a full-length non-adhesive Ace bandage for Boss, and he’s about eighty pounds. Cut the wrap and use Fray-Check (available at all craft and fabric stores) if you have dogs that need shorter wraps. It needs to be snug, but not tight. Think “hug”, ’cause that’s what they need. This is essentially a full-body constant hug. Hmm, I may need one myself.

I can probably talk Boss into a video if necessary, but I’m gonna try to walk you through this. (If you need a video please comment and I’ll bribe him.)

Put the center of the bandage roll in the center of your dog’s chest.  Bring it up on both sides and cross at the withers (equivalent of between shoulder blades for humans). Wrap down again, crossing under belly and bringing up to attach ends above rump. *For male dogs, make sure NOT to cover penis with bandage.*

Why do you need this? Because many (OK, most) people don’t celebrate Independence Day. They celebrate Fourth of July with a drunken BBQ on their day off work and fireworks for a full two weeks, annoying the hell out of their neighbors who have to get up at 3 a.m., traumatizing all the dogs in the area (except my Saminda, who thinks it’s a tribute to her chocolate lab beauty), and probably doing horrific things to any PTSD sufferers in the neighborhood.

Last year I called my local police and claimed to have a PTSD sufferer in my household (truly, don’t know WHAT poor Boss has been through) and asked if they could at least enforce the 10 p.m. noise ordinance. Her answer? “We can’t do anything unless people are shooting fireworks AT each other.” My #StMatthews taxes are being SO well-spent.

Oh, and BTW, the whole “Fourth of July” thing is random. The Declaration of Independence was voted in on July 2nd, 1776, but there were riots in New York before it was finally approved on July 9th. By August 2nd most delegates had signed. Just fodder if you want to educate the rednecks on the next street over.

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