Arrgh. Grumpy. Smoke. This is something like the 6th or 7th week of wildfire smoke here–probably more, it feels like forever, with probably at least six weeks left to go. No nearby fires, just smoke from…elsewhere.
So I’m finding myself getting grumpy when someone starts to get smoked in, and the complaints start. I guess I should be more sympathetic, but after what feels like permanent smoke which keeps me inside during the summer, I’m grumpy. Want to have an issue? Then talk to those of us inland who’ve been inundated with smoke regularly since the end of June. Oh, there’s been a run of clear days every now and then, but for the most part it’s been smoke, smoke, smoke, endless smoke. It’s everything I’ve dreaded ever since it was clear that despite allegedly being a La Nina winter, we weren’t getting much precipitation here in the Pacific Northwest.
I’ve decided that smoke is absolutely worse than a Covid lockdown. Combine the two and…well, the smoke is worse.
Keep in mind that I grew up in the south Willamette Valley near Eugene, in the late ’60s/ early ’70s. Grass seed field burning was a common management method in that area, and until one really horrific day (that I still vividly remember) when the skies were black in the Eugene area due to wind patterns, nothing was really done about it. If you lived there, you had to live with it. And the management methods after that? Sent the smoke over the Coburg Hills, right over the small mountain valley I lived in.
Between field burning and life with heavy smokers, I now have reactive airways. And lots of smoke for endless days ends up playing with my head, causing a low-level moodiness and irritability. I don’t want to ride the horse in it because she’s getting up there in years and I don’t want to put the strain on her. Not inspired to do much of anything outside, even if I’m masked.
(Please don’t tell me to move. I hate humidity, and other options aren’t the best in the world, either. Plus, really? No place is safe these days.)
And then there’s the rise of the Delta variant. Because of the smoke, I’m wearing a N95 valve shop mask if I go very far from the house, for very long. At this point I’m one of the annoyed vaccinated and cooperative people who’s just had enough, and if I’m asymptomatic and exhaling virus? Well, sorry. The shop mask helps with the smoke, and I’m the one who can tell the difference, okay? If it concerns you, then wear a mask yourself. Get vaccinated, if you can.
(Yes, I KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LEGITIMATELY CAN’T GET VACCINATED. They aren’t the ones I’ll be running into who aren’t wearing masks.)
Writing is chugging along, with multiple projects humming. I need to get back to blogging and writing more essays that show up on Medium and Substack. Promote my serials on Kindle Vella as well as the books I have out and the new book that I plan to release in October. I’ve found some lovely images for the promotional campaign that nail Justine. It’s hard to switch out of fiction mode to write non-fiction, however. I’m finding myself lacking in motivation.
Meanwhile, I’ve started the ten-year-revision of Netwalk. Ouch. Some of my wincing is due to the use of language, but there’s also a LOT of proofing mistakes that I just wouldn’t allow these days. I have to wonder how much of those blunders are due to the swap between WordPerfect/Open Office/Word that happened with that book, however. Hidden coding that popped up in InDesign. Given that it happens more in certain sections, I certainly have to wonder about that issue.
Nonetheless, I’m enjoying rediscovering that particular world that I built. The story really isn’t that bad, and once I’m done with the rewrite, I’ll feel better about promoting The Netwalk Sequence along with The Martiniere Legacy. There’s a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences. Both have biobots, and megalomaniac family members. But The Netwalk Sequence eventually has alien tech which explains digital personality uploads, while it’s sheer tech developments in The Martiniere Legacy, based on a mind control technology that doesn’t exist in Netwalk.
Anyway. Still alive here, even if smoky. Sigh.