ROW80 01.08.12 and Excuses

English: I took this picture. Grilled cheese s...
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Here’s my progress report for the first week of January:

  • On Tuesday, I attended Austin Mystery Writers. I had not submitted anything for critique, but I took a bit of the newsletter I was editing for CP to proof. My printer had cut off an inch or two on the right side of the document, so CP had difficulty proofing. I learned to look at documents while I’m still able to try again.
  • On Wednesday, I saw I’d made no progress, and I was lethargic, wanted to sleep all day, so I postponed reporting until Sunday.
  • On Thursday, I fell victim to cedar fever and wanted to sleep all day, but I went out and bought a stationary bike and allowed David and the cats to assemble it while I slept in a chair. I woke up and rode the bike for twelve minutes, whether I wanted to or not.
  • On Friday, I attended the Just for the Hell of It Writers, where CP and I discussed changing the name of the group. We discussed several other things as well, including the fact that I had made no progress because I was perpetually sleepy. I rode three minutes on the stationary bike before sitting down and going to sleep in a chair. I woke up and posted on my blog that cedar fever was upon us.
  • On Saturday, I developed a light case of allergy flu (I rarely have hay fever, I prefer to host a virus) and sat around the house feeling miserable and moaning and sighing several times an hour so David and the cats would know I was miserable. David decided to visit a friend. They cats hid upstairs. I didn’t ride the bike. I finished putting together a newsletter, prayed for accuracy, and published it.
  • Today I woke up feeling better, no flu, but looking disgusting enough for David to offer to cook breakfast. He prepared dinner several times during the week, too. I updated the blog for my writing practice group and posted the link on Facebook. Then I corrected the date and posted the correction on FB. Then I corrected the address and posted the correction on FB. Then I corrected the address in the address correction I’d already posted on FB and posted that to FB. Then I made a correction to that correction; I had said it was the fourth correction, but it was really the third. The correction process having taken a lot out of me, I considered going to bed but decided to post my report instead.

Summary: I did not meet my goal of working on my novel every day. Instead, I coughed, moaned, and felt sorry for myself. To my credit, I did not eat a gallon of Campbell’s tomato soup made with condensed milk and further gooey-ed up with smashed saltine crackers. Said soup is the only halfway effective palliative for a condition involving the sinuses, but it is chockfull of sodium, preservatives, coloring agents, and various other chemicals I’ve sworn off. So ate baked chicken, salad, fruit, and cough drops. And suffered.

So that’s my report. Cedar fever isn’t the best excuse in the world, but it beats the dog ate my homework.


Note to my former students (and all others who monitor my grammar, usage, and punctuation): I know this post contains a comma splice, and I know I told you all that using a comma splice qualifies as sin. But I’ve loosened up a lot over the years, and now I find that the judiciously placed comma splice can be just the ticket for getting my meaning across. Using run-on sentences, on the other hand, those jammed together with no punctuation mark at all, still constitutes sin.


Image by DonES at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Hohum at en.wikipedia. [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

16 thoughts on “ROW80 01.08.12 and Excuses

  1. I’ve had a humdinger of a cold, just in time for husband’s surgery, so I’m sympathizing and sneezing and blowing nose to demonstrate. As a CP I’ll point out the bike made of paper might not be the best choice.


    1. Sorry about the cold. Hope you have some pain meds of your own. I prefer sedation when cold and allergy season comes around, but doctors never comply.

      As for the bike–did I use the paper word? I thought I had that all sorted out. One more in a long string of things I have to correct. I’m being nibbled to death by goats. In the meantime, I shall beware of paper cuts.


  2. What is cedar fever? Not known as far as I know, in UK.

    Please can you explain a comma splice? I read a piece about a comma splice the other day that made my head reel. And made me feel thick….


  3. Cedar fever is the name Central Texans use for the allergy to the Ashe juniper tree that populates this part of the state. (The tree is commonly called the mountain cedar.) In late December, Austin weather forecasters start counting the days until the trees begin exploding with pollen, turning the air yellow and people sneezy and congested. The season lasts from early January until mid-February. I developed the allergy after I’d lived in Austin about five years; one my cats got it a couple of years before that.

    A comma splice is the name for two sentences separated by a comma rather than by a period or a semicolon (or a dash?): This is my cat, his name is Ernest. It’s a form designed for the specific purpose of driving English teachers crazy. I’ve seen the term defined in other ways, but this is the definition used in the textbooks when I taught. Just a bit of jargon to make us teachers feel erudite. Nothing to feel thick about.


  4. I’ve had a cold for the past week and reading this post was just the medicine I needed to feel better, especially about the way I’ve been using the cold as an excuse to not keep my writing goals! I wish we lived closer, we could share some of that dark chocolate Stretch mentioned in my blog, I’m sure that would help. 🙂


  5. I hope you’re getting over this Cedar fever. I have a lot of allergies here in San Diego, since I grew up in Paris and have no immunity to the thousands of local plants.

    I’m sure you’ll be making progress on your writing projects soon. I have at least three book ideas sitting on my desk waiting to be explored. Waiting for the next moment of free time, which never comes. Frustrating but I swear I’ll get to them one day!


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