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Posts Tagged ‘Ask Maggie’

Diary #525

A year or two ago, Jae bought me this rose bush as a thank-you gift for taking her on a bunch of errands; at the time it was a wee thing planted in a demitasse cup.  But I transferred it to this pot, and since then it has lived on the windowsill of my incall.  But as you can see it has grown too large for the pot, and since I’m spending most of my time at Sunset now, I brought it out here when I returned from Seattle early last week.  In a few days I’ll pick a good place for it and transfer it to the ground.  But it’s not the only thing that has moved out here due to my increased presence; on my previous trip back to town I moved the old desktop computer I use for my emails and book publishing, so that I could finish Ask Maggie, Volume I (uploaded to the publishing site yesterday).  I’ve transferred my default mailing address for several things to the farm, and yesterday was also my first appointment with my new doctor; Grace recommended her, and I was pretty tired of being blown off and overcharged by the doctor I was previously seeing at one of those big corporate clinics in Seattle.  So I guess you might say the rose bush isn’t the only thing being transplanted from Seattle out to the coast, and may we both thrive out here.

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Diary #524

On Thursday, the second cottage was delivered; it takes up quite a bit of space on the floor, but I have a really big garage.  This time the pieces were less well-arranged than last time, so it was very difficult to do the inventory.  But we eventually got it all sorted and staged, so it’ll be ready to assemble when we are.  That will probably be sometime in August; we still need to put in the posts that will be under this cottage’s footprint, dig a new French drain, prepare the area with gravel, level the hot tub (which we’re probably doing this week), run the new electrical line (the cable has been shipped but hasn’t yet arrived), move the paddock gate and Jae’s yurt, and build the deck up to the edge of the second cottage.  And I have to run to Seattle at least two or three times in the next month or so.  Now do you see why I’ve been posting the bathhouse construction updates on a two-week delay?  It’s not that things aren’t going according to plan, because we’re about where I expected to be (if not a little ahead); it’s that a lot of the work for the rest of this month won’t really show in pictures.  And that’s not even counting the press to get Ask Maggie, Volume I out on time for my self-imposed deadline of July 31st.

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I have no plans to stop fighting this war until there is no breath left in me.  And truth be told, I’m not even sure I could stop even if I wanted to.  –  “Ninth Anniversary

Ten years is a long time for one human to do anything without a break, much less publish a blog post without missing a single day.  But then, I’ve never been one for taking breaks; I’ve always considered them little more than a delay in whatever it is that I’m doing.  And when that “whatever” is fighting a war for self-ownership and human rights…well, as the epigram says, I’m not sure I could stop even if I wanted to.  Certainly, I’ve slowed down; when I first started this blog a decade ago, I used to publish an all-new essay every day, and the essays were much longer on average.  But as I exorcised at least a little of the righteous fury which fuels my activism, and my other activities expanded to take up more of my time, I was forced to fill an increasing number of daily slots with shorter, easier-to-write posts.  Only two days in the average week now see original essays, and I feature a lot more of what most would consider typical blog posts than in the past.  On the other hand, I’ve written lots of non-blog articles for magazines, books, etc, and I’m about to publish my fifth book; I’ve also got a documentary called The War on Whores and I give dozens of interviews for articles, radio, video, and TV every year, plus more public appearances than I can count.  So even though my blog isn’t growing as quickly as it once did (and, thanks to Google’s censorship, is seen by fewer new readers than in times past), my public presence is still growing.  And given that all of that public presence is dedicated toward fighting for my cause, I would consider that a win.

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Diary #523

At long last, my chickens have started laying again!  As we were working on the bathhouse deck last Wednesday, I heard one of them erupt in an almighty clucking, so I suspected there might be an egg, and I was right!  We’ve averaged one a day since, which is pretty good for pullets; by the end of the month it’ll be more like half a dozen a day.  And just in time, because I was mightily tired of paying grocery store prices for not-very-fresh eggs.  We’ve used the last of the store-bought ones already, so we’re going to try to avoid buying any more now.  In other news, I’m proofreading Ask Maggie, Volume I, and hope to release it by the end of the month; given all the work I’m doing on the house, I’m honestly surprised I’m only a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.  I’d say “knock wood”, but I think I’m doing quite enough of that in the construction process:  sometimes intentionally with a deadblow hammer to persuade a board to go someplace it’s reluctant to go, and sometimes unintentionally with my head.

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Regular readers know that as the days grow longer, my brain becomes overstimulated by the excess of daylight, and it becomes increasingly difficult for me to slow down, relax and even sleep.  Well, this year I’m putting it to good use by plowing ahead on the bathhouse project, as you can see in my new regular Friday feature on it.  I’m also working on editing the essays for Ask Maggie, Volume I, and hoping to get it out in July; plus I’m still doing activist stuff, like appearing on Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade University Live tonight.  Tomorrow or Thursday I’m briefly returning to Seattle for my hair & nail appointments on Saturday, then on Sunday I’ll return to Sunset; before much longer I should also resume traveling, when the clients who have inquired about visits get their schedules straight.  It’ll be a while before I can relax again, and I can never do it as effectively as these critters can.  But if I’m going to be hyperactive, at least I’m getting things done!

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As promised, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II is here!  Now that I’ve figured out how to fit working on the books into my schedule, I should be able to keep up the pace and put one out every three months for about another year.  My next project, Ask Maggie, Volume I, will contain about 80 of my answers to reader questions; I’ve already made the selections and plan to start editing them as soon as I go back to Seattle after Easter.  So barring unforseen developments, it will be out in July.  If necessary, I could do most of the work here, but it’s harder to write here because I don’t have the quiet and privacy my brain needs for focus (not to mention distractions like building bookshelves).  Anyhow, you can buy the book at Amazon (and here’s the Kindle edition); if you prefer an autographed copy, they should be available in my bookstore in the next day or two.  Thank you for reading!

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Have you ever wondered what the numbers in the diary title refer to?  Unless you’re terribly unobservant you’ve probably realized that each week’s number is the same as the Links column which follows it; that’s because they both refer to the week rather than the number of entries in that category (which for both is somewhat below 500).  In other words, this is the five hundredth week of this blog.  Every day for the last 500 weeks I’ve published a new column, and even though many are now news columns, link collections, or adaptations of Twitter threads, that’s still an awful lot of essays (over 3500 now, altogether).  I’ve never been paid for any of it, nor have I paywalled or intrusively-monetized the site, and I don’t intend to; however, I think it’s time I got at least some compensation for an awful lot of time, effort and brainpower.  That’s why I’ve started gathering my best work into collections; The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I came out last week, and you can buy it on Amazon; if you prefer a signed copy, I just got a box in yesterday and I’ll be adding it to my store today.  I’d appreciate it if those of you who appreciate my writing would both buy it and review it, because that’s how things get marketed on Amazon.  And now that I’ve figured out how to turn preparing these collections into a routine, I should (with any luck) be able to turn them out on a regular basis.  I’m already almost halfway through with the primary edit for Volume II, and Shannon Reeves & I have already planned the next cover; I don’t foresee any difficulty in getting it out in April as planned.  Then I’ll start compiling my next project, Ask Maggie, a two-volume collection of my advice columns, followed by a compilation of all my harlotographies and, if there’s sufficient demand, a third volume of The Essential Maggie McNeill, collecting my best essays from 2016-2019.  With any luck I can start making an appreciable income on books every month; if even one breaks out into general notice, the rest will follow.  And the more income I can be sure of every month, the more energy I can put into writing and speaking.

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