Monday, April 25, 2016


So many things were happening last week and the week before.  By the time we hit Wednesday, before the trip to California...well, I feel sorry for anyone who encountered us.  Our plates, minds, and emotions were definitely maxed out.

The trip was to attend Patrick's mom's memorial and a quick visit to my family.  My mom is still waiting to start chemo, but I still brought her some hats I made.

The trip began with big fat rain drops all the way down to Nephi.  At times the rain was so loud, I couldn't hear Patrick.  After a stop over in Mesquite and a nice breakfast buffet we headed across the Nevada-California desert.  Baker is the entrance to death valley, and on our first trip back to California we ended up leaving our car there.  So, needless to say we have a "Do not stop in Baker" rule.

So we drove through until we reached Barstow to have some lunch before we left I-15 to head towards Bakersfield.  After a nice lunch and refilling our sodas we were anxious to finish driving for the day.  Our car (or other forces) had other plans.  I could not bring myself to call the roadside assistance so Patrick had to do it for me.

While it took almost an hour to get a tow truck to us, the owner of Fast-Trac towing finally came and took us to his shop himself.  We had just decided to rent a car and let them fix ours over the weekend when Tony (the owner) comes racing back in from the garage and says "Cancel the rental car!  You are leaving here tonight in your own car."  While we did not like this little sidetrack on the way down, the down time was rather enjoyable and included a cockatoo that acted like a dog and imitated the cars outside.

After a nice service in Bakersfield and some enjoyable time with the Wilson cousins, we headed to El Segundo.  Upon arrival, I discovered that I had left my computer in Bakersfield.  Luckily we had exchanged numbers with George and Rich and after much texting confirming that the computer was indeed in Bakersfield, it worked out that Rich and Rob would bring it down as they were flying out of LAX.  While, I do have all my dissertation data, research, and writing backed up in the cloud, I was a bit of a mess until I had my computer back.  (THANK YOU RICH & ROB!!!!!)

We surprised Patrick with a pre-publishing party for the Chainmail Bottle Carrier book.  Just a small group of the El Segundo Laynes, 14 in total.  Madi and Wyatt made an awesome banner with fireworks!

Congratulations Patrick!
Mom and Marisa also made him a new writing shirt.  He does have some mayhem planned for several of his upcoming stories, so do be careful.

On our way back everything was going smoothly until we reached Payson.  We were both exhausted so we stopped in the Walmart parking lot and searched for hotels.  After getting dinner, we wonder if Patrick's blood sugar was low.  It was, however a much needed stop.

We did take advantage of the extra time and drove by the new Provo City Center Temple.  Having spent time in Provo attending BYU, the transformation was amazing.  One day we will go back and do a session there.  For this trip we took the time to go to the Mt. Timpanogas temple, adding to our list of temples. 

After a session in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple

And as a writer is never truly on vacation, I was able to grab a picture of my favorite writer at work (seeing as I had to wait anyways while those precious thoughts were noted in one of his notebooks).

Writing down thoughts in the Temple parking lot

And so we returned home after a quick trip, with several unexpected sidetracked moments.  The house was still intact, and the frig was quickly replenished.

And, while I have not been pulling my weight in posting, I do think I have a good reason.  Although I know that my mere 99 pages of a dissertation in progress do not come close to matching my favorite writer's page numbers.  But I think progress is happening - lots of red ink at the moment - just not on the first page :)

The current state of Lisa's dissertation.

Until next time, just keep swimming.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Two big ones in one joke

"I'm going to hang out here where I'm safe...." The actual words of one of the student workers at Lisa's work...

My only response was to ask him "Given that you're in room with a guy who has a book due out this week; two other writing projects he's working on at the same time, including a murder mystery; has to leave for his mother's memorial service on Thursday; and spends his free time (as if I actually have any!!!) debating whether my cane could best be modified into an axe or a .410 shotgun, how safe can you actually be here?"

Ok, actually covered two of the big ones in one joke (and if you thought I meant something else in the title you have a dirty mind!).

If things go well the chainmail book will be sent for final processing Wednesday and be up on Amazon as an Ebook Friday or Saturday. If things don't go as well I've said it will be out this month so I have two more weeks (but I don't think I'll need them). This last going over had five changes three in captions and two in the text (and the biggest one in the text was changing "one time" to "once". There was honestly so little to fix I was worried I missed something.

I also, at long last, have all five videos up! In the unlikely event someone actually wants to watch all five here's a link.

This book isn't the biggest manuscript I've ever done, but it'll be the first book of the year (with one more planned for fall/winter) and that's not bad for a project that didn't even exist yet at this time last year!

The second one that I won't say much about for now is that I'll be doing family stuff (the non-fun kind) the later half of the week. Those who know know...

Lisa's been a real help in all this and is still fighting her way through her dissertation too. I'll encourage her to give an update and her take on this all next week (or kibitz on this one if she wants to...)

So there it is for the next week or so life around here is...
a mix of this...

and this...

Take care and see you in two (or one if Lisa posts!)