Author Archives: Cheryl C

Nail Gun Success










If you’ve never messed with a nail gun, I recommend it (of course, that’s messing with it in the terms of reading the manual, safety equipment, proper use, and all that jazz). Around 9 this morning I plopped my rumpus in the floor next to the nail gun and the nail compressor with user manuals in hand. It didn’t take me long to (totally lying … took me longer than I want to admit) realize that I was missing an adapter for the air hose.

What should have been a quick jaunt to the hardware store ended up with a wee detour after finding someone’s phone at the end of my driveway. I live in the willywags. The road I live on is paved, but you have to go a bit out of your way to find it. I monkeyed with the phone, made a couple of calls with it, and tracked down the owner. After my side trip to deliver the phone in Hampden, I made it to the store to get my missing part.

I’m not sure what time I actually started working on the hall trim since I had to re-read parts of the manuals and refresh myself on the miter saw. I’m a writer. I type around 100 words per minute. I do that with all 10 digits intact. I intend to keep the aforementioned digits.

I trimmed out three doors and a partial fourth. The last one is going to be a seriously wonky cut because the door is against part of the ceiling so there are all sorts of stupid angles with it being an old house. Instead of a three piece door trim, it’ll be four. Lovely.  I’ll deal with that one later. The above picture is of one of the frames.

Nope, not perfect. BUT, I did not shoot myself with the nail gun. I did not cut any fingers or other body parts off with the saw. I did not blow anything up with the air compressor (though I will mention that it kicked on at one point to re-pressurize as I walked by, and I almost crapped myself). As for the door trim, I can fix the wee gap with caulk and paint.

I also grossly miscalculated how many pieces of trim I’d need to do the entire hall. I am sure I will have many trips back to the store to pick up more lumber. I think I worked on the trim for 2 to 3 hours. I’m sure a skilled carpenter could have done it in 1 hour, but that’s OK. I’m learning this on my own by reading user manuals and making mistakes. :) I don’t mind it taking a while.

In book news, the second edition of The Monster Within is ready for the editor as of yesterday. It will get shipped off once I have the green light to email it from Maine to California to go through a more rigorous meat grinding experience than what I can do with AutoCrit on my own. I’m all for DIY, but I also know when I need reinforcements!

Still the Best

indie day





I still think this is the best meme ever. Still makes me laugh.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, hopefully it’s an extra long one too! I have vacation for the week, so I’m on the super extended version. This will be a good week of new experiences.

I bought a grill that arrived while I was still in MD. Yesterday I put the grill together and cooked food on it today. Didn’t even burn the house down. Burnt the veggies a bit, and the meat was under-cooked. I’ll throw it on the stove later. Hey, it’s all a learning process. Tomorrow I’ll experiment with grilling salmon. Should be interesting. Worst case scenario is I screw it up and have cereal. It’s a decent plan B.

For the house project, I got the painting done today and will start installing the floor tomorrow, after I learn how to use my miter saw. The thing is so huge I bought a stand for it so I could move the whole rig around. The assembled stand and attached saw is now sitting in my dining room. That’s where it’s supposed to go right?

It’ll live in the dining room for a while. I can easily use the stand to roll it out to the deck when I need to cut the floor planks and bring it back in when finished. Sure, common sense dictates that the saw should live in the shed where I roll it out there for the night, but that’s just silly talk. Saw lives in the dining room – check. (It’s of course right next to the nail gun I have yet to unbox).

Nothing like the impending arrival of company to get a procrastinated house project moved up on the priority list! So with that shuffle of painting/flooring moving up the list, editing has slipped a few notches. I’m almost half-way done with running the book through Autocrit, so I’m not panicked for time yet. Plus I’ll have time tomorrow and next week provided the floor installation is uneventful (I’m not holding my breath).

Happy 4th, kids. Don’t blow off any digits!

New and Interesting







I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, having new experiences, and the like. I seem to be on a roll for doing new, bizarre, things that are far more interesting, and fortunately non-hazardous, when a little too sleep deprived.

Sticking both contact lenses into the same eyeball and wondering why everything looked so fuzzy had me stumped for more than a few minutes until I figured out the issue.  Two lenses in the same eye don’t make your vision twice as good. Now I know!

Last week I tried to open the hotel door with the car keys. When the hotel that I’ve been staying at with work travel for the last 2 years has NOT changed their key cards, for me to suddenly try to use a rental car key fob to open the door was just plain baffling. No shocker that the door wouldn’t unlock with that method. The good news is I figured out the problem before going back to the front desk to report the issue.

So after taking a couple of days off to regain a few wits to get me through to the end of this week, I’m hoping I don’t do something doofus-like in the near future. But things tend to run in threes, so I’m due for at least one more to come. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll laugh about it just like I did with the contacts and the hotel door.

Book update: Editing for the second edition is in full swing on The Monster Within, and I’ve pre-ordered the new cover for it to start that work in August.

Changing Gears

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Maine may have finally emerged from a very soggy spring to a somewhat drier version. I’m not convinced so celebrations are on hold that mud season is actually over.

For any college softball fans out there, the semi finals for the world series start this afternoon. My team, LSU, was sent packing last night. Oh well. Great games are still to be played. Guess what I’ll be watching?

In other news, as of today, I have finished the first draft of the overhaul of the first book. Just in time for the semis. Coincidence? Hardly.

Next up for writing, I’ll be starting on the new idea in my head and running the draft I just finished through Autocrit’s online editor. Love that program. It’s tedious, time consuming, and not exactly fun. It’s like doing laundry. If you want to go out in public smelling like something the dog would roll in, by all means, never wash your clothes. If you’d rather present yourself around other people and smell a bit less gamey, wash away.

Autocrit works in a similar fashion. It runs your manuscript (I tend to go in manageable chunks of chapter by chapter) through an editing washing machine to find adverbs, redundancies, overuse of words, cliches, and all that kind of crap that clogs up stories. Then I choose what goes, stays, or changes to clean things up. This creates draft #2.

Considering I started the rewrite in Jan and just finished it up, let’s say end of May (close enough), June becomes Autocrit/editing month to get it ready for the editor early August. Always something going on!

The house project, just for giggles, is still in the crazy mix. Hallway floor is still just plywood and the walls are primed. I have everything I need to get cracking on the hallway revamp. I have far more resistance to starting to sling paint on those walls than I do with sitting down to write. If you figure that one out, let me know. Maybe I can paint and listen to softball games. Maybe I can just watch the softball games. The hall isn’t going anywhere. ;)

Softball Addiction Part 2

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By golly I just had to be happy that Ole Miss (more properly known as the University of Mississippi out of Oxford, MS and nemesis of Mississippi State University) won the SEC championship. Given that Mississippi State’s battle cry is “Go to hell, Ole Miss!”, I couldn’t say the words as an MSU grad given Ole Miss took the title for the first time in program history.

They were ranked dead last in the SEC and came out on top with some fine softball games in the mix. Well done, Ole Miss, well done, … though I still hate your battle cry of “Hotty Toddy” and whatever it is and means.

The regional tournament following conference play wrapped up today, and after a nail biter and fighting their way out of the loser’s bracket, LSU advances. The super regional games start on Thursday, and I’m not quite sure how the world expects me to function for the next two days without any games. To my friend in Boston that I’m visiting this weekend, we’re gonna be watching softball, dude. Lots of softball.

In between work and getting my softball fix, I continue to do the rework on the first Burnt Mountain book, mind plotting (this is plotting in my head only, not typing anything yet) the new book rattling around in the brain pan, and doing some demolition in the house. Because if you’re already stupid busy, throw in a house project on top of things just to keep it interesting.

My upstairs hallway floor is stripped down to plywood and the walls are covered in sheet rock mud to smooth out lumps and bumps and soothe my OCD. I’ve decided to learn how to do trim work and install new flooring on my own without a bleeding clue how it all works. Heck, I’m still buying the tools I need for the work and will have a few user manuals to read. So ultimately, this house project, which is just the beginning, will be a lot like my early days of writing. I’ll start off without a clue and figure it out as I go, mistakes and all. Gonna be a blast!