A House Divided

At this current moment, the Hughes household is divided.

Steph is hanging out in Portland, Maine this week.  She’s out there for business and not to play in the hurricane which is fortunately far enough south that it isn’t bothering her except for large amounts of rain and wind.  She’s a bit cooped up, stuck between the client site and her hotel room, but otherwise safe.  I’m back here in Iowa and surviving as best I can (which is remarkably well all things considered).

The pets, however, have not taken to her absence nearly as well.

Tim Tam (the cat) seems more annoyed with me than usual.  Yesterday I came home from work to find that a water glass I had left on the table had been knocked over.  I grabbed a towel, cleaned up the floor, and then laid it on the table to soak up the water.  While it was doing that, I turned around to let the dog out.  When I turned back, the cat was sitting on the towel.  He looked at me.  Then to the glass I had turned upright.

Then he knocked it over.

I set it upright.  He knocked it over again.

I don’t think he likes me right now.


Tucker is normally apathetic when either one of us is gone on a trip.  As long as we give him a treat before leaving, he doesn’t care.  This trip has been slightly different.  He has taken his aggression out on the bathroom garbage can.  After a couple of clean-ups, I ended up setting the garbage can on the toilet before I leave the house (he likes to sleep on the bathroom floor so I leave the door open for him).

Last night when I returned from ASL class, the first thing I noticed was that the bathroom door was closed.  The dog was nowhere in sight.  A bit concerned, I went to open the door … and found I couldn’t.  Poked my head around the corner to find that the dog had knocked the garbage can off the toilet and in falling, it shoved the door shut, effectively trapping the dog inside.

He seemed very content sleeping amongst the trash.


Falling Into Fall

As has become my mantra – It’s been a bit busy as of late.

So, uh, yeah, sorry about the lack of updates.

Work is still doing it’s bit and I’m still doing my bit.  Vacation did a lot to help and even though that relaxation has worn off, I’m not yet to the stage where I was prior to leaving.  So that’s a positive.  Another positive is that my bronchitis is gone.  I still have some coughing left but that gets better every day and should be gone by the end of the week, I suspect.  And I should know sometime in the next week or so if these hectic months of work are winding down to a close or if they are going to carry on.

Looking over at the writing front, progress has been made in creeps an crawls.  On Carrionhove, it’s been on the large scale – figuring out large plot points key to the story, shaking out a few things loose here and there, and so forth.  I’m getting about a chapter done per week which is fine right now.  I’ve also taken a crack at a query letter for Asymonte and I’ve gotten feedback on that.  So the words are coming.  Slowly, but they are there.

One thing that has become painfully evident to me is that my former habit of writing in the evening isn’t going to work anymore.  Work and life are taking too much out of me and when that happens, writing doesn’t.  So my habits are going to change.

A lot of people have suggested writing in the morning before work and real life can intrude.  A friend also suggested a short workout beforehand to get the blood flowing and to wake up (especially since I don’t partake in the nectar of the coffee bean).   Then, when I was discussing all this with Steph, she went and challenged me to do NaNoWriMo in November to kick start things.  I’ve done it at least twice before (maybe three times, I block some of it out) and I can’t deny that it gets you writing.  So that’s good … on the surface.  In reality, I suspect that’ll go something like this …


Typical Reaction to NaNoWriMo
Typical Reaction to NaNoWriMo

Rejection – Writing and Body


Back on May 13th, I got a request from Angry Robot for the full manuscript of my novel Asymonte.

Today I got notice that they were going to pass on it.  The reason given was that it was too similar in plot and style to something else that is being released this November.  That’s how publishing goes sometimes.  I’ll figure out the next step in the upcoming days.


My cold (5 weeks old today!) that was diagnosed as ‘allergies’ last week has been re-diagnosed as bronchitis with a touch of pneumonia.  Medication will fix it and hopefully I’ll be back to normal by the end of the week.  Or at least what counts for normal around here.

Back from the House the Mouse Built

I know what we're going to do today!

This morning Steph and I boarded a metal tube that sent us hurtling through the sky away from Walt Disney World and back toward reality.  I can safely say that neither of us were willing participants.  But alas, we’re back and here’s the obligatory post about the trip.

In short – Disney was fun.  It was just what we (and possibly more so, I) needed.  There wasn’t any talking or thinking about work.  Just relaxation and time to unwind.

We stayed at the Yacht Club, which is one of Disney’s ‘Deluxe’ resorts.  A bit higher class than our usual but for such a short stay, we decided to go with it.  Plus it’s really close to Epcot which is our favorite park which is a perk.  We took advantage of the great pool (complete with water slide) and the close proximity to the Boardwalk where we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Flying Fish.

The Yacht Club - We had a ground floor room in this wing.

Other Highlights:

  • Catching Illuminations on the first night at Epcot and being able to walk back to our resort in less than ten minutes.  On other nights, we were able to see the fireworks from our room.  Disney knows how to put on a show.
  • Running the Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run.  One of the big events of the weekend was the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  Alas, I wasn’t aware of it when we booked the trip so I wasn’t able to get us signed up in time.  But I did manage to get us into the 5K which was a lot of fun.  You can see for yourself in the video below.  Look for a couple of people around the 43 second mark – one in yellow, one in white.
  • The other big event was the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.  They had food booths and demos setup at all the nations plus a few others.  Steph and I ate our way around the world and were thoroughly stuffed by the end.
  • Seeing Disney at a new time of year.  We usually go in January or February.  The park was a lot different this time around with the fall and Halloween themes.  Plus we were able to get on rides that are normally closed in the cold months.   We got soaked on the Kahli River Rapids in Animal Kingdom.  Never made it to Splash Mountain though – it had a technical malfunction the day we were in Magic Kingdom.

So, yeah, we had a good time.  Tomorrow is back to work but since I don’t want to think about that right now, I won’t.  Have a few pictures.

Looking across to the Boardwalk.
Giraffe. He did not appreciate the 'How's the weather up there?' joke.
Some people say we have a kinship with this fellow ...