Thursday, September 25, 2014

Too Much Fragrance! A Rant

A different kind of air pollution.

Do you know that you can become desensitized to a smell? It is very common to become desensitized to a perfume you wear regularly. That's how people end up walking around smelling like a perfume factory. They can't smell it anymore and have no idea how much they put on. Therefore we have to just deal with it.

My bank smells like cookies baking. A whiff might be nice on occasion, but they obviously can't smell it any more. When I walked in there the other day it made my eyes water and my sinuses flinch. When I left, I could taste it. My clothes smelled like it for hours. It put me in an especially foul mood.

A client of mine uses air fresheners. All of the papers I take from that office reek of it. And I end up smelling like it for awhile after our meetings. Enforced perfume-ation.

I was at a restaurant the other day when a waitress walked by in a cloud of fragrance I call "dryer sheets". I don't think it's a perfume. The smell was strong enough to make me sneeze. Luckily, she wasn't my waitress. However, every time she walked past my table, I was drowned in fragrance. It made for a very unpleasant dining experience.

Is this just an American fixation with smell? What are we masking? Body odor, pet odor, cooking aromas? I would rather put up with an honest smell than the artificial scents that people are constantly spritzing into the air. It fires up my allergies and makes me light-headed. I can avoid a perfume counter in a department store. It's a whole 'nuther problem when I have to wade through smells to get my errands run.

What kind of "air pollution" bugs you?

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I'm off to Boston tomorrow for my nephew's wedding. Not sure how it is possible that he is old enough to get married, but apparently he is. I felt the same way when he graduated college. That's the amazing thing about kids - they keep getting older. I don't.

After the wedding, I am driving to Kingston, NY with my sister. We will reconnect with a few living relatives while I do some genealogy research. Oddly enough, all of my Irish relatives settled there after they came over. And so did a few German relatives through marriage.

My great-great-grandfather came over from County Roscommon in Ireland. His name was James Fitzgerald. And there is my "brick wall" relative, as we hobbyists like to call them. No middle name that I can find and no town of birth. I narrowed it down to 46 families in the county. I may have to wait till I can afford a trip over there to continue that research. Or spend a lot of money, which I don't have right now.

I am hoping to find a few clues in Kingston. The relatives who still live there might have pictures or documents tucked away somewhere. I've got my fingers crossed.

Dark Deeds is resting while the 1st reader is working through it. I've started outlining the 2nd book in the Changed World series. The working title for now will be Scattered Seeds. I've got a lot of ideas for it. And I think I may need to do some research for a couple parts. However, I don't think I will be doing much writing over the next week. I worked hard to get Dark Deeds done on time, so I feel that I deserve this little break. Yay! (Besides, it was on the schedule)

How is your September shaping up? Is it as busy as mine is turning out to be? School, weddings, writings, new books?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

WIP - Dark Deeds Status Report

How can it be September already? Lawns are dotted with fallen leaves. The burning bush down the street is starting to change color. School is back in session. And I have so much to do!

I need deadlines to work to. I like to measure my progress. But sometimes I forget that I created those deadline out of thin air and I can change them. Whew.

Proofing Lethal Seasons took longer than I anticipated. That took away some writing time for Dark Deeds. And then I hit a wall, (figuratively speaking) about where the story was going. I recalculated the work required to catch up and it turned out to be about 2200 words a day, five days a week. Don't know what I was thinking there. Some days 500 words is my max. But I'm chugging along pretty well.

The plan was to have a finished rough draft last week. I might be able to squeak it out this week. I know how it's going to end, I just have to get there.

Sometimes I need to throw down some bad dialog just to get me through a section. Then when I go back to clean it up, very often I will have a clearer sense of where that scene needs to go. I have been stewing about the ending. It hasn't resolved completely, yet. But I have some ideas and I know the final outcome. Putting it on paper will help the characters take over and lead the way.

Today has to be a short report because I need to get writing.