A Free Read Every Day (on the DDsE blog)

BlogLogoRedo2018I’m so glad I decided to do it! Brought back the DDsE daily serial blog.

Over on the DDsE blog, we’re in book 8 of Ella’s diary. As far as I can tell, her current adventures will take us through book 9.

I’m having a great time posting Ella’s diary to the near-instant gratification of readers who come to the blog daily.

The farther I get into the DDsE series, the less I can figure out whether I am writing it or transcribing it. For the first time, I’m writing improvisationally. What happens happens. I discover what comes next as I fill the latest blank screen on my iPad.

If you become a follower of  the DDsE daily serial blog, you will get each day’s diary entry emailed to you. Of course you can also click over to it whenever you please. I’ve heard from a number of folks that they’d rather wait and read a bunch of daily entries in one swoop. You can read the compiled, completed books (7 so far) on the blog.

For those who don’t want to read via browser, each book of Ella’s diary is an individual e-book novella on Smashwords. (6 individual novellas on Smashwords so far – 3 to go.) I’ve also compiled Ella’s books, 3 to a volume, and published those volumes on Amazon as e-books and paper books (2 compiled volumes so far – 1 to go).

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You Can Read DDsE by Blog (Again)

BlogLogoRedo2018It’s a recurring story of my life. To see the value in something, I have to stop, leave, turn away from it.

It, such as publishing the DDsE daily serial blog.

Once upon a time, I had a blog that published the daily diary entries of Ella, a 16-year-old who had just entered a horrible strange amazing phase of life. Ella filled three books with her secret, hand-written diary entries and I posted the entries on the DDsE blog.

[OK, I admit it, I’m the one who has been writing Ella’s diaries and I’ve loved doing so. Although I’ve never had mind-to-mind contact with a feral cat, nor run away with a boy who wasn’t human, nor been chased by unhuman monsters, I can so relate to Ella. I’ve been a teenager all my life.]

Ella has kept writing her diary but I stopped posting entries on the DDsE blog.

I stopped because I’d been bitten by the publishing bug and my agent said that she couldn’t shop DDsE if I was giving it away. So I compiled Ella’s first three books into a single volume and my agent began to shop DDsE to big-deal publishers who took forever to say that they loved the story but didn’t like Ella. Or vice versa.

I discovered that I’ve changed.

Long ago, publishing my novel Was It A Rat I Saw in hardcover with a big-deal publisher was very important to me. Nonetheless, I stopped writing for a couple decades and when I resumed, it wasn’t because I wanted to build or re-build a writing career. I resumed writing because I missed writing.

When I resumed, I joined the self-publishing revolution (and it really is a revolution) but I maintained lingering fantasies about some sugar-daddy publisher who would make the publishing grind easier for me.

I’ve come to realize that I write to connect: with myself; with my readers. To realize this, I had to shut down the DDsE daily serial blog then miss it.

But re-starting the blog seemed impossible. Embarrassing.

At some point, I withdrew DDsE from the big-deal-publishers shop-around and began to self-publish it. Each book of Ella’s diary became an individual novella on Smashwords. (6 individual novellas so far – 3 to go.) I compiled Ella’s books, 3 to a volume, and published those volumes on Amazon (2 compiled volumes so far – 1 to go).

I continued to miss the blog. So. Tupac the impossible embarrassing. The DDsE daily serial blog is back. From now on, every day that blog will publish a new diary entry by Ella.

However, the new entries will resume with the current diary, book 7, because the DDsE blog features Ella’s newest entries, the ones that haven’t been published elsewhere. While the blog was on hiatus, books 4-6 got published elsewhere. Sure, they are compiled on the DDsE blog, and you can read them there. But the newest entries are in book 7.

Saturday, Feb 16, the DDsE daily serial blog will resume daily posting of Ella’s newest diary entries, starting with entry 260 from book 7 of DDsE.

Now would be a good time to catch up on books 1-6 and to begin following the DDsE blog.

Note that I usually keep my blogs separate so if you follow this blog – awesome! thank you! – you won’t get any DDsE posts. You have to click over to the DDsE daily serial blog to follow Ella’s diary.

BTW, RW is on Bloglovin (oh, and check out this squirrel!)

Ah, the consumer universe. As most of you surely know, there are many places that a person can host a blog, and the blogs on one host aren’t compatible with those of another. So, for example, if you have a WordPress blog you can follow and read other WordPress blogs easily, but not Blogspot blogs… or Blogger blogs… or ….

The now-defunct GoogleReader allowed browser-based compilations. Similarly, if you have a Bloglovin account, you can (mostly) get all your blogs in (mostly) one place, regardless of which platforms birthed them.

If you want to follow Required Writing via Bloglovin, clicking on this link is one way to do so:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Putting this link in a post is also a requirement for me to “claim” my blog as belonging to me. (See, if I can create a post with a link in it, I must have access to this blog.)

Anyway. I don’t want this post to win awards as the most boring post ever, so below is a video. The squirrel may have had as much fun making the video as I had watching it. Anyway I like to believe that squirrels, like cats, only do what they want to do.

Surely There Is Someone to Sue Over This!

Guess what this is! I’ll give one hint: It is not an heirloom hand-crafted dish:

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For more context, here are a couple others of the same species:

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Here they are shortly after birth:

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What they are: blobs of melted metal. I put a pan of water on the stove to boil for my oatmeal, then messed around on the internet for just a couple minutes, or so it seemed. Clearly I was lured to keep clicking around! I came back to find the pan melting.

I confess that I was tempted – very tempted – to keep the pan on the burner because the melted blobs are smooth and interesting and I want more. I fought my temptation after I envisioned a later stage called pan explosion.

This is not the only pan lid now left bereft. In memorium:

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This seems to happen about once every 18 months, and started about the time I started my blog, which is quite a coincidence!

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge is Texture.)

The Ah in Normahl Life

Conference hotel bathroom. Instead of keeping the paper towels stocked, some minimum wage worker had to keep these folded and stacked, all day long.

Conference hotel bathroom. Some minimum wage worker kept these folded and stacked, all day long. Isn’t that just like a day job?

My last several weeks have been absurdly hectic, with long hours preparing for big to-dos at the day job. The deadlines and the events are now past, everything went well, I’m enjoying kudos for my efforts — and I’m trying to not resent the time I had to squander on mere work, the time I’ll never get back to do the things that matter: hang with my kids and my friends and the four-legs, visit the ocean or mountains, write my new book, promote my newly finished book, post to this blog.

During that time, I had to toss my tickets to two different concerts because I was too busy or tired to attend. That is a lot of alliteration and so wrong!

Ah. At last I’m home again. You know you’ve been gone too much when you look forward to sweeping the tumbleweeds of shed dog fur, new clumps of which are repopulating my living room even as I type this. So. Much. Fur. How can she not be bald yet?

Ah. Time to take a few lessons from folks who know how to relax:

 

Shadow and Luna, lounging

Whatever your species, the morning sun feels good.

Local Color

Here in southern California, we didn’t have a winter. We had autumn, an extended spring, and now an early summer. In other words, we went from wildfire to pollen to smog season, skipping the mudslide/debris flow season this year.

They are subtle but we do have detectable differences from season to season. In the spring, the flowers have an intensity of color that they lose in summer, when it is too hot to be bright and everybody including flowers must fade and dim to survive the heat.

It is definitely still spring in the garden. The native sage is most brilliantly blue in the mornings before the sun hits:

Gray green leaves, purple-blue flowers, and a wondrous spicy fragrance - this sage has got it all!

Gray green leaves, purple-blue flowers, and a wondrous spicy fragrance – this sage has it all!

Spring is when this blue morning glory – a relentless, destructive weed – strengthens its hold on the neighborhood. The flowers are too lovely to remove:

Morning glory appears to encircle this aloe. By mid-summer, it will have strangled the aloe unless ripped away.

Morning glory appears to crown this aloe. By mid-summer, its vines will have strangled the aloe if allowed to remain.

No one knows where this morning glory begins, it snakes from yard to yard, along phone lines, across fences. I’ve even found runners in my dark, dry garage! It looks especially pretty with the bougainvillea, though, doesn’t it?:

Another year of morning glory invasion begins.

Another year of morning glory invasion begins.

As soon as the blooms wither, however, the vines must go, lest the rest of the garden vanish behind their twisting tendrils. Stylistically, the morning glory and kudzu have much in common.

Clearly my days as a plant nerd are over. I once knew the common and Latin names for this fellow, whose flowers glow even in brightest sunlight:

The ... er... purple one.

The … er… purple plant.

I don’t know what this flower is, either, but I have a better excuse. I discovered it in a neighbor’s yard today and have never seen one before. My guess is that it’s South African:

The... er... one with tall spikes of orange flowers.

The… er… one with tall spikes of orange flowers.

My Channel Island Bush Poppy is one of my favorite plants. It is not supposed to fare well in my hot inland location, yet mine is 15 feet high and wide. It blooms profusely and cheerfully every spring. Best of all, it requires neglect. If I water it, it will die. The plant made for me!:

Imagine these flowers filling your screen and your vision. That is the Spring experience near a Channel Island Bush Poppy.

Care for this one at its peril!

All this blogging about my garden makes me realize I am overdue to do some gardening… Well. Those that can, do. Those that don’t feel like it, blog.

The WP Weekly Photo Challenge wants to see “Spring”.

Exercise Your Blog Voting Rights

What are you doing here? Perhaps you have asked yourself that question. Perhaps you have an answer. If so, please share it in the poll over thataway —-> in the right-hand column.

Blogging 201 recommends that I use a poll or survey to find out what ya’all like about this blog. In principle this is a great idea, and I think polls are fun. Only problem is that the poll results are unlikely to influence future posts, because I can only post what I feel like posting at the moment. So I will be quite interested to learn what you think, however your vote will not lead to any real change.

I assume it is clear that I am not a politician.

Alert: If your browser is not open fully the poll may not appear. If you are on a phone, you must scroll for frigging ever to see it fleetingly. I’m sorry. Discouraged, I am unwilling to check iPad performance. In case you wish to vote semi-manually, below is a snapshot of the poll. You can enter your vote in a comment here. 

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