A day off.

As a writer, I’ve learned that whenever possible my days off should be mindful, intentional. So Sunday, among other things, I spent time with my spouse –most of it doing gardening and yard work. I had a lovely visit with my eldest son and grandchildren, where we brought dinner, hubby helped them build bunk beds for my granddaughters, and I spent time with my daughter-in-law Christine and my new grandson.

Daughter-in-law Christine and new grandson. 

My son and granddaughters, being silly.

Yesterday was not a day without word count. It was, rather, a day where I filled the well, so that I could be more productive all this week.

And today, so far, I have 800 more words on a short story called “The Weeping Stair.”

Mentoring for W.I.S.E.

I’m a member of the Women In Safety Engineering (W.I.S.E.) group, and this year I volunteered to work as a mentor. The young woman I am mentoring, first name Hannah, is running into many of the same issues I ran into in the workplace and I am glad to be able to share my expertise.I’m really enjoying this. And I sent my mentee a complimentary copy of Confessions of a Female Safety Engineer. I wrote it, at least in part, for people like her.

RavenCon 2018 memories

Only RavenCon would have the equivalent of a medieval photo booth with a live raven. His name was Baron, and he was quite tame. He’s looking off camera at his owner, who threw him treats.

Other than that, the convention was great fun. I’ll be back next year.

A new review of Confessions & an interview

From James Hartley Books’ review:

(A) mix of cool humour, honesty and erudition runs like a seam through Confessions… which should be of interest to anyone working in the safety industry as well as anyone caught in a bad moment in life and looking to reboot. What makes Delmater´s book stand out is the writing, which is tough and sparse, although she disagrees. “I prefer to think of my writing as concise.  As Strunk and White’s immortal writing guide says, ´Omit useless words!´  That’s my motto.”

But what drives and differentiates the book from other memoirs, especially other safety-related memoirs, are Delmater´s experiences in a very male-dominated world.

Her book abounds with tales of daily struggles, small victories and scraps against sexism in the workplace, passive and aggressive, always told with that same wry humour – dry, New York humour – which pervades the whole book.

My favourite was an aside about wearing having to wear safety helmet in the office on site as, if she didn’t, any couriers or visitors arriving would straight away assume she was the flunky. “They´d stop, looking confused,” she writes. Wait a minute. Secretaries don’t wear hard hats. Once in a while they would even find the male admin without any assistance from me at all.” Being taken for a performance artist while on the job in a trendy East Village location was also up there.


Read the whole review here. And if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you can get it at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or at iBooks.

What it takes

Writing and editing are work. I spend most days, butt-in-chair from at least 9-to-5, doing not just work on Abyss & Apex Magazine, but professionally editing for clients, writing (fiction and non-fiction), networking and promoting, and so much more. My son says I am, “..the busiest ‘retired’ person” he’s ever met. I’m not retired; this is a second career. And I am loving it.

Today, for example, I sent off a fully revised book to the book designer. (We used to call them typesetters, but it’s been all digital for decades.) I had a rejection of a short story, researched a new market for it, and sent it back out. I did an interview with a review site, worked on a promotional graphic, promoted a poem in the recent issue of Abyss & Apex, and read someone’s book for review. I thanked a reviewer who left a kind note on Amazon, sent out a contract and several rejections and dealt with author queries, and wrote the notes for a panel I will be moderating this weekend. I researched how to sell my ebooks at cons on thumb drives, inventoried my stock of books to sell, and ordered more books.

And next I am going to get some more words for Writing the Entertaining Story, and outline two non–fiction articles I’ve been contracted to write. If I still have energy, I’ll try to finish a short story.

When do I do housework? Well, I have to get up and stretch once an hour. But this is what I do. As Julie Czerneda says, I #Love my life.

Doing edits on BDTE series

Since Craigslist no longer has a personals section, today I’m editing the Better Dating Through Engineering books to reflect that. And since today is all about the romance, here is a chivalrous mouse offering his lady love a flower. 

Writing during home rennovations

It’s been a week. My word count is shot.

Ever since last Friday we’ve had the disruption of people working on our house. They plastic-tented all the furniture and floors in the hall, living room, and dining room (where I work at present). Note: this tenting happens every day they are here, and the cats are frantic about it.Then they wetted and scraped off our “popcorn” ceiling texture, which covered a really bad tape-and-spackle job. Cleanup was a beast and I ended up getting a mess splotted onto my open laptop from the dining room ceiling fixture. My computer is  fine, but it took a while to get my heart out of my throat.

Monday the contractor was elsewhere; Tuesday they spackled the ceiling and sanded any rough spots. Wednesday they primed the ceilings and spackled the walls. Thursday they sanded the ceiling and any places needing it on the walls (the dust!!!), painted the ceiling, and did touch-ups on the spackle (some of the badly taped joints needed three goes). Today, hopefully, the walls will get painted. I assume this will bleed into next week while they paint the window & door moldings and baseboards.

Here is part of the “before” – a water stain from the hurricane last autumn. We’ve replaced the roof since then, because homeownership is fun!

And here is where we are so far on the “after.” Same area. MUCH better.

The walls will be painted the same color as the kitchen, “Safari Map” by Valspar, found at Ace Hardware: a nice, pastel tan. It’s shown below.

I sincerely hope the results will be worth all this effort.