Worked on a scene for 3 days. Rewrote it 4 times. I had this scene in my head for months before we even started the book.
Today, after yet another pass, I looked at Gordon and said, “Do you want to just cut it?”
He said, “I think we should.”
Three thousand words into the bin.
The description on that image says, “Stressed tired businesswoman feels exhausted sitting at office desk with laptop and crumpled paper, frustrated woman can not concentrate having writers block, lack of new ideas or creative crisis .”
That’s me. I’m the stressed out, tired businesswoman writer.
Oh well. There is always tomorrow. How is your Monday going?
Babysitting sick grandkids so mom can go to work????
Jennifer Rhodes says
I wrote up lesson plans for my students. I had a teacher work day and tried to wrack my brain on different ways to keep the kids engaged in learning 8th grade science while not being repetitive. Love your work. I’ve learned it’s when we let go of a failure we can move on and succeed. Every book you write I read and love. It brings me joy and happiness every time I read a new one. So what about 3,000 words. Take a walk, kiss your man, have dinner, your amazing ????. It’s when I’m not thinking about the problem I’ve been obsessed over that I finally find a solution or a new way. So Monday has been positive and frustrating and creative at the same time. Reading your books is how I find happiness and respite from my own life. How I escape life for a few hours and love and live and die with your characters in a magic world in my mind. It you were a machine writing ✍️ monotonously then you would not be the fantastic story teller you are. I tell myself something similar when I blank on the best way to deliver content to a bunch of teenagers who want to know “when will I ever need this” lol. Your fan ????
Lynne B says
How true, well said !!
Do something relaxing and start fresh tomorrow! Love your books! Thank you!!!
Struggling with health and mental health issues. Im getting worse and worse, trying to find reasons to try or just give up too. Hugs and thank you for all the wonderful books and characters thru the years.
Hang in there, Garett! More great books from IA is coming!
Garett, please hold on. Hold on one minute. Then hold on for an hour. Hold on for a day. There are so many things worth holding on for. Every day gives you an opportunity to start the day over again. Hold on.
You’re worth it, Garett. You can do this. One minute at a time if you have to. You’re worth it.
Gareth, it’s a tough time of year. Keep on keeping on, and eventually the days will start getting longer again. You’re not alone in this, by a long shot. Keep making every connection you can to the world around you, whether to other people or to nature or to work or to books or music or art. Those connections are what hold us together when things feel like they’re falling apart.
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree with the others. I don’t know if you like to listen to music. If you do, I have a recommendation. Listen to Wings of an Angel by Def Leppard. When I get down with life, I listen to that song. It helps a lot. It’s one of my favorite songs from them.
Oh no, no. I am giving up on a scene. You are trying to give up on something much more important. Let’s keep going together. I’ll write more books, and you will take it one day at a time.
I was made redundant. I tried and tried and tried and tried to get a job. But I failed. In fact, it’s been an utterly horrible, completely relentless year of failures that also brought two unexpected deaths in the family, including my beloved evil cat. Then I finally, finally, finally, finally got a job. It starts in a month. And as a reward, my mental health is doing its very best to fall apart now that the pressure to get employed is at an end. This is completely unacceptable. I cannot afford to collapse. But like any beat-up old car that has been running on fumes for too long with the ‘Check Engine’ light on, my mental health has had enough. I have a few weeks to get my head together. I am pulling every resource I have at my disposal. Therapists. Friends. My frigging priest. There’s that internet owl – Boggle – that has put it best, so I won’t repeat it here. My point is, I have a collection of very, very pointy sticks, and I am not afraid to use them. Find your stick, and go poke the hell out of something.
I would sincerely like to suggest get outside and walk, walk, walk. It’s a great stress reliever, I promise. The endorphins released with exercise will make you feel better and better over time, as will the increased strength and stamina. And it’s even a halfway decent time of year, at least sometimes. The color changes are so beautiful (if you happen to live somewhere that gets them anyway). Best wishes for your new job!
I like your style–keep going with that stick and don’t be afraid to swing it hard!
Mary Beth says
Arrrgh . Wrote about the same amount (2800wds) and realized it’s crap and doesn’t fit with the rest of the story. (This is the 7th rewrite and I swear it’s the last…uh…maybe.)
Oh, and last night my Hubby, in an effort to prove to me that anything is possible, gave me many glasses of wine to watch a movie called “Velicopastor”.
Yes, it’s an actual movie.
No, DO NOT watch it. GAH!
Tonight I’ll raise a happier glass in hopes tomorrow will be better.
Gaylin Chev says
I had cream cheese pumpkin pie for breakfast, great way to start a Monday!
It is 2:30 in the afternoon and I haven’t gotten dressed yet.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!!!!
Bwahahahah! Well done, my friend! You’re my hero. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you too!
Oh! I have the Envy! Sounds like a great day! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving ! Can hardly wait for the American one so I can cook up the extra legs for the “mutant” turkey. Because everyone knows the drumsticks are The Best 😉
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Akeru Joyden says
It’s a monday… and a federal holiday… go holiday! Sometimes you just need to call a break and give the brain time.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
I spent the weekend going thru my yarn stash. I got 17 bins down to 10. A couple of friends came over and went thru the give away and took what they wanted. The rest is going to Knit Nite at the library tonight and what’s left is going to the free store tomorrow. Today was spent going thru knitting needles and cleaning more of the storage area the yarn is going to.
I have a LOT of really nice yarn… It was nice to spend the weekend with it 🙂
Is it still a holiday if you don’t realize it until you open your mailbox looking for mail?
Our 5 yr old lab was diagnosed with Lymphoma last Friday. Vet put him on high dose steroids but said a couple of weeks or a month, maybe, before he dies. Our 13 yr old Yorkie has gone blind from his malignant hypertension that no medication will make more normal. He’s having one or two grand mal seizures a day now, but still wants to cuddle and play with the other dogs. Have to decide soon when to put him to sleep. We still have a shepherd and a malti-poo who are both 9 and still thankfully healthy, for now but losing these two “kids” so close is breaking my heart…..
Colleen Whitley says
Canadian Thanksgiving today. A weekend of family and food: some better than others for both. Now it is naptime. Sorry things didn’t work out.
I left work early because I was sick but then I got a call and was offered a new job I really want. So I’m both extremely happy and very nauseous. It’s a confusing state.
I just went thru a server migration that we have been preparing for months and it still took 10.5 hours on a Saturday…and we are still finding bugs….so I feel your pain. But you have been here before and you will always get thru. Sometimes you just need a break to think about something else in order for the whole thing to come into focus. You’ll get thru it and it will be better than before!
Hugz. Convinced it’s weird full moon. Foot surgery recovery requiring 6hrs day elevation then for every 15 min up 15 min down. Certain you can now find filthy neglected house yard from space. 6th reread of SOB. MAud the Encourager.
Hopefully your day gets better
Todd Erickson says
Glad you’re putting health and sanity first. *hug*
A young woman i liked deceided to quit her life. She was a korean actress and singer, her name was Choi Jin-Ri but her stage Name was Sulli. She had depression.
Then i helped another young woman today who has depression too.
I want to be a better person. I have two healthy (ish) children. I can help a little.
I can be more kind.
Thats my monday so far yes i went to therapy for my hands too.
Take your husband for a walk, maybe the weather is nice where you are.
Something to enjoy. Nature does not only have to be hurricanes, right? 🙂
We ❤️ you!
On a road trip. With a 4 year old. Running 3 hours late bc stopping LITERALLY every 25 miles.
Yep, its Monday…. I’ve been sick, like seriously in bed sick, since Wednesday. Today I’m still hacking up a lung, but I feel human again…. I got showered, I got dressed, I got the kids off to school…. Then I got a call from school that middle child isn’t feel well…. Sigh, guess my recovery time is done!
The hoard has faith in you
Well… my child is home sick. And she’s sneezed on me multiple times. So I will end up sick. And Monday’s are supposed to be my mend it; make it days and I didn’t get any sewing done. But I’m working at getting all of my grandma’s recipes into the computer… so there is that.
@Rachel… my name is Rachel too, I’m at home because my daughter is sick too… and currently adding photos to my family history book of the baking I am doing of family recipes – grandparent,s, and great-grand.. for the fun of finding a virtual doppelganger, I’m in NZ. Rx
3,000 words for a snippet? A snippet we will love because it came from your brilliant minds; whether it is valuable to the story or not?
R Coots says
Yeowch. Scene gone! I am banging my head against plotpoints and inktober. Who decided all the months should get theme art? Ugh
My 2 year old fancy, energy efficient washing machine keeps getting stuck in one part of the cycle. Because it has a computer component, I thought I should maybe unplug it to reset. Now it keeps tripping the breaker. So that’s how my Monday (my one day off this week) is going. ????
I understand that frustration, and I applaud the good sense to ditch it and move on, rather than continuing to beat your head against the wall. I had physical therapy today, but didn’t get a chance to do the pool portion, which was disappointing. But we did get the bookcase and chest I painted and repurposed to hold gaming books and board games into our office. So, so-so Monday. Hope tomorrow is better for both of us!
Morgan Smith says
I’m recovering from Canadian Thanksgiving by trying to rewrite and update a research paper on early medieval Irish food/food production/food preparation.
And my brain really, really hurts.
Storm Rise says
Woke up to find I’d come down with the dreaded Lurgie that the hubby brought home- so a delightful morning of tissues, throat lozenges and lemon ginger tea (though the tea was pretty darn yummy)
Still- got to sit quietly in my workroom and make some nice copper and sterling Viking Knit chains, and design some more jewellery for when I’m back at my bench. The day (snot and all) turned out to be quietly fulfilling after all.
Thank you for your books. You make my world a better place (I’m an obsessive reader 😉 ) Thank you for your recommended books too- I’ve found some wonderful new (to me) authors, and thank you most of all for this blog- warts and all <3
It’s a Monday for sure. Get out, take a drive, get an ice cream cone somewhere, and give yourself a break.
Also suboptimal (although not to your scale) – the user interface for the software that I do 90% of my job on is on the fritz in a really spectacular way, and we haven’t been able to figure out what’s making it bug out (/randomly delete things argh). I’m starting to get a little concerned that we might have accidentally scanned a demon into the internet a la Moloch in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (oops).
Michael Reed says
I wrote this wonderful story (this was the feedback) about an assassin family that had to rescue a family member from a rival house. I was kind of inspired by the Hidden Legacy series and Hunter X Hunter, but the professor had requested that it not have supernatural. So I spent a month or so researching poisons, weapons (I watched all the youtube videos I could thanks to a suggestion from the wonderful Ilona Andrews), and made it as realistic as possible. There was not one note of fantasy even though I wanted it to be full of them. Well, turns out, everybody loved the story and some readers in the workshop were googling Chinese hook swords, theobroma vs. curare, and Russian government sleeping gas. But then they had this consensus that it was an amazing supernatural/science fiction and ‘absurd’ story. Ugh I was so pissed! I mean I was really happy they loved it so much, but like 10% of me was fuming. Is fuming, considering it is 2 weeks later and I’m still peeved.
So I have another story due in a few weeks and it’s called ‘Gaypocalypse’. There will be a zombie breakout on a gay cruise due to golden shit pills gone wrong that will turn into a kind of gameshow. It is going to be supernatural to the max!
I love your books, your stories, and anything you write is on my list. But my favorite is the blog, I check this so often and I am so grateful for the breaths of fresh air that you write, as well as the writing advice. I will be in Houston airport tomorrow and probably just read some of Hidden Legacy to put a bounce into my step. Have a great week!
Today is the last Monday of the grad school class from hell. Its an online program. They tried shortening this class to 8 weeks instead of 16. Ye Gods, this class should NOT be 8 weeks. Drinking from a fire hydrant has never been so accurate. So, everything has to be done by Friday, come heck or high water, I am not behind but holy gosh, do I have a ton to do. And since I’m a single mother of 3, I’m horribly neglecting my poor children to get it done (Grandpa is “helping” as much as he can…) so I feel like a horrible mother. SO I feel you on the stress levels.
Oh no! Sorry things haven’t been working out. I’m sure whatever you write next will be awesome!
Donna Stegman says
Found out today that a man we’ve done silversmithing work for over 20 years, was arrested and charged, with over 200 counts of child pornography in New Mexico, and other things I can’t even bring myself to say….I’ve had him to my house for dinner. We thought we knew him.
Not a lot of things get to me anymore, but this sure the hell did.
I’m done for the day, because today sucks.
You win the awful Monday award.
I just want to let you know a few weeks ago I picked up the first Hidden Legacy novel on the recommendation of Mariana Zapata, powered through the whole series, and am now already up to #7 in the Kate Daniels series.
Your characters, your writing, your plotting, your intelligence – what an amazing combination. I’m so happy I still have a bunch more of your back catalog to get through.
So sorry you’re having a rotten Monday! It’s finally feeling like fall here in Louisiana with cool temps and rain, so that’s a relief. No biking though, you really can’t trust Louisiana drivers when it rains. Take care and try not to stress. Have safe travels and enjoy Kisscon (wish I could be there)!
I’m sorry about your scene. You know, I don’t give advice often, but a couple days at a winery or whatever your equivalent is thereof with Jeaniene Frost might be beneficial to your current situation. I’m just tossing it out there. My Monday is organized. Cause I just finished putting the last shelf in place and now I have actual places to put stuff. Yes yes I do. Been working on my house for the last five months. The house is small and has small rooms and no storage. I probably would have been fine as it’s just the hubs and I, but then I got a dog. My very first dog. about one month in I was like, “Oh my God what have I done?” After a year of doing nothing, but cooking looking after my mama and the dog and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and still looking at a mess and getting no writing done. I got aggressive and looked at each room individually to see what I could add to make my life easier. Basically, I went to queer eye and FF’d to Bobby and his room makeovers and implemented what applied. It worked, but it took five times longer than I thought it would. I put up the last series of shelves today. Now, instead of cleaning constantly and having a mess. I take about an 30 to hour in the morning and fifteen to thirty at night. Our main level is clean. Boom. This doesn’t count the weekly scrubbing, but that was never the problem. It was the daily mess that drove me up a tree and down the holler. Still struggling with the writing. My puppy is jealous of my laptop. First he tries to close it. When that doesn’t work, he shows up with his pillow-bone and gives me the sad eyes. Sucker that I am, that usually works.
Lynn Fitz says
There is the joy of the niggleing imagination, the excitement of the research to flesh it out, the pounding rearranging to make the words say what you see and feel as the story magician and then there are royal pain in the butt … not yet ready to be born stories that tie you up in knots until they perk long enough in your subconscious OR just drown themselves in the lowest file drawer of your imagination.
Sorry you hit the wall! Had to happen sometime. Glad it’s over with , deep breath, bottle of wine and an eve of dancing or smooching ; clear the brain cells, drown that resistive bugger!
Not worth that much wrestling.
I’m recovering from a dud of a multi-day arts festival (just hardly anyone showed up, and while art is subjective, if you don’t have crowds in the first place you won’t even have a chance to earn what you need). Lugging around a tent, canopy, walls, internal mesh walls for art hanging, an array of art and related merchandise, plus over 200 lbs of weights for said tent… and I’m exhausted.
I’ve been in my PJ’s getting some work done as my poor feet cramp, and my cats drape themselves over my legs.
I get to do it all over again this weekend.
I had a terrible day as well but also discovered a new book series that got my attention so it made up for it( demon accords by John Conroe). I hope you get to have a little bit of something that would make up for your awful day.
Running into ignorant driver at crosswalk. Where I have a walk signal. But driver still tries to turn left. Refuses to wait for me. Keeps inching her car closer and gesturing at me. It was very strange. But second time it has happened to me this year. Do people just not understand walk signals anymore? Or how right of way works for left turns?
Ugh. Sorry for the frustrations. Y’all are FABulous writers. I know you’ll be past this shortly
Forgot to send student info due 2 weeks ago, can’t spell due to full moon, bought a house ????, and now need to figure out how to move. ????
Put all the electronics on VM, hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the inside of your patio door, take snacks, drinks and Gordon out to the pool and have a date night.
Tiki torches and mellow cocktail lounge soundtrack optional.
Mark viv says
I’m at a medical conference. I tried to recruit the president of one medical society to our hospital, stole a lift from the ex president of another medical society and got another to take our photograph. Who needs career progression
All I can think after reading this is
…. you threw it away? Into the GARBAGE? Whhhyyyyyeeeeeeeee
I will read your garbage. Please, I want to read your garbage!!!!!!!
Colleen C. says
Today is the anniversary of my husbands death. Always a sucky day.
Michael Reed says
I’m so sorry for your loss, I can’t even imagine. Maybe celebrate a happy memory of your time with him? I can’t imagine anyone that we’ve lost to want us to suffer or be sad, I feel like your husband would feel the same. I wrote a letter to my best friend who had passed and sent it to a mutual friend of ours, I cried like a baby when I wrote it but it made me relive a lot of happy times. I hope you have a great month <3
I am so sorry.
Karen Orrence says
Wow, to all you who have had a terrible day, health issues, job challenges, and other trials, I’m sorry and hope life gets easier for you and less stressful. I almost hate to post that I had a great day. It’s a Federal holiday and I’m off. It’s a beautiful, sunny 72 degree Fall day in Maryland. I went to Bethesda to meet my brother at his job site ,to salvage some plants from a home that’s going to be torn down soon, came home and had my hands in garden dirt all afternoon. So peaceful. I’m blessed. Plus, brother Bill bought me Five Guys for lunch! Hang in there everyone.
Karen Orrence says
Love your books! Glad your novellas turned into more wonderful reading for us!
I took advantage of the holiday to bring my 250 pots of houseplants from my balcony inside for the winter. I am sorry I can’t post a picture here, I promise it would improve your mood. Take a break and knit something while watching another episode of your favorite drama to clear your head. Hugs from Canada!
Saturday an acquaintance was arrested for muder. Not a good friend of mine, but a lot of my friends were, and are completely devastated.
Sunday,a very close friend started chemo for colon cancer.
Thanksgiving dinner, my step mother tripped and fell and hit her head, mild concussion and 3 stitches.
Today is a hide in bed and read trashy romance novels, pretending the weekend didn’t happen kind of day.
Claudia Schoellkopf says
Trying to ge my 9th graders to write correct sentences in German. Second attempt at teaching word order… over a dozen attempts to teach verb conjugation of regular verbs. We are making progress, but still not there. After today’s activity, it’s back to the drawing board.
Hoping tomorrow goes better.
I actually got to relax and read a little today. I’ve been swamped with kids, their school work and activities, my school work ,volunteering and work. Hubby was at training for the past couple months, so I was Solo parenting for a while.
He was home this weekend and today was the first day in long time where I didnt have anything to do or anywhere to go. The oldest went to movies with his girlfriend. Middle child was at a sleepover, and hubby went adventuring with the youngest. It was just me, the dog and a really good book.
This past week and today were just complete clusterfuckery. I lost my job. Xenophobic remarks have become routine. Brexit looms ever nearer.
So I cuddle in bed with an Ilona Andrews book and escape it all.
I hope you get to rest a bit, free of anxiety and tension.
So sorry, Rossana! I hope that you find another job quickly!
Well, that sucks.
Yep. Know that so well. Married 40 years and now left behind to build an entirely new life. Remember Hugh? Paraphrase–this new life was his alone built brick by brick like that most. We got this. Eyes up. Forward.
30 years for me. Almost a year into rebuilding and the new foundation is looking mighty fine. We do have this!
Linda Trainor says
Me I had a tooth root removed and it’s on the side of face that I like to sleep. So I didn’t get much sleep.
Y’all are not alone. I am so inspired by your writing. Thank you for letting me get away from the every day BS.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
25 years here. But maybe not really. He has moved on… I’m here with the kids, taking care of real life…and it occurred to me that that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 30 years except he was hanging around the perimeter providing an illusion of a shared life… In reality I had yet another kid to take care of…who shared my bed.
I’m learning to sleep in the middle of the bed. Head up, eyes forward. 1 more kid to finish and release into the wild.
I left my ex in 2005. (He’s currently living with his girlfriend and their kid in the house that I bought…) Which doesn’t explain why I wake up to find text and email messages from 2am when he was begging for me to talk to him.
There are advantages to them moving on, is what I’m saying.
2005 and still getting harassed? That’s wrong. I wish you happiness.
Time to block that number!
This is one of many reasons I turn off notifications at night. (Though I often wake up if someone tries to call me anyway?) We’re still resolving some financial issues related to the divorce (i.e., he owes me an awful lot of money regarding that house), but mostly I just keep communications focused on that, and in writing, because his preference seems to be for attention, and just no.
I see him as more whiny, passive aggressive, and annoying than threatening. Though in retrospect there’s a lot of “well, he tried that, and it didn’t go well for him” whether it’s trying to isolate me from my friends, trying to get control of my finances, or assault. (Yes, and then I left.)
LOL. You sound like me! My husband got annoyed because I was reading/game playing on my phone during the Willie Nelson concert. Actually, Willie Nelson wasn’t as bad as his opening act, which was the worst type of country music IMO. I think it was Alison Krauss. I felt like I was being tortured.
Diane Mc. says
Went to Port Aransas TX for the weekend with some friends. We all decided we need to do it more often to make time for ourselves.
I had a bitter sweet day, it was my last parent teacher conference day ever. My daughter has had most of her teachers before, so I got to hear how wonderful my kid is and how much she has grown and come out of her shell over the years.
You know as soon as you toss it, it will spring for fully formed from you skull like Athena bursting from Zeus; and you’ll never be able to use it. But somehow it’s the best thing ever.
Alexandra Davison says
Patricia Schlorke says
My weekend was great Saturday and into very early Sunday morning. Watched world rugby. Then it went downhill from there with a vicious sinus headache. Took allergy medicine. Woke up at 3am this morning with the horrible headache back. Had to take off from work (didn’t want to). Slept for most of the day. I feel better but tired.
I understand about slogging through the mud of days like today. The BDH has your back. ????????
One foot in front of the other and keep walking… or writing…
Garrick P. says
Formatting an ebook for an acquaintance, first time really tackling the challenge. Find out, I got the text version that was sent to the editor, not the copy that came back from the editor.
On the plus side, it took about 2 hours the second time around, now that I knew what I was doing (the first version took about 10 hours).
Just returned from an out of state memorial service for my only female cousin. She committed suicide. I resemble her strongly so every time someone saw me there were tears. I helped set up an endowment and funding for her kids then drove 6 hours home. Wondering if I could have prevented the suicide.
I am so sorry. We like to think that we could have helped and to assume some guilt, but in the end, it was that person’s decision. ::hug::
Candy Daniels says
Oh Heather, please don’t start thinking down that route… it’s not your fault… you can’t hold yourself responsible for someone else’s choices. It’s wonderful to hear you care so much for her, but don’t blame yourself for something you hold no responsibility of.
My neighbor committed suicide nearly a year ago. Rene had been a very nice lady, with a grate sense of humor, a beautiful smile, and a kind heart. It was a deep and painful shock. I still miss her, and think about her, but I had to come to understand that I couldn’t have done anything to save her. That truth was a painful pill to swallow, because, as Ilona said, we like to assume some of the guilt and responsibility.
I myself have never been suicidal, but I have struggled with some deep and scary bouts of depression… weeks of just wanting to stay in bed and give up and fade away. I ended up staying in bed for over three days, only getting up to use the bathroom, and only stayed hydrated because my fiance forced me to. When I realized what I was doing I almost checked myself into the hospital. It was then that I finally realized how deep my depression had sunk. It took more will power than I knew I had to finally get up and stay up…shower…eat properly… and live. Those experiences taught me that while the support of others can help pick you back up, ultimately you are the only one who can really save yourself. It’s a personal responsibility to cherish your own life and existence.
So sorry for your loss! Grieve for your cousin, offer love and support for her kids, but know that there was little to nothing you could do to change the outcome. Despite all the loving support, medical support in the world, some just can’t manage life.
Patricia Schlorke says
I send you lots of hugs. I agree with Ilona. In the end it’s the person’s choice.
One thing I will add:. the person can say the right things, do the right things, go through the motions of life and underneath all that the person makes a choice that life isn’t worth it. My motto is dying is easy, life is hard. Living, not existing, is so worth it.
Some days just suck! Fortunately they also end. I hope you can find something to help lower the stress levels. Call in tomorrow and see if you’re boss will let you have a ‘wellness day’.
Yeah, it wouldn’t work for me, my boss is too bossy. (PS. I don’t have one either – other than my dog.)
I really appreciate the view into your world as a writer. Hugs…for the lost work. May the gods of creativity bless you with something to fill the loss. And…have a drink on me. 😀
+1! Especially the nice glass of wine or a delightful artisan beer (or other tipple of your choice). Sounds like a little relaxation would not come amiss before diving back into the fray!
Served a funeral today for a young veteran (45) at my church. The leader of our bereavement group could not make the funeral, which left me in charge. I was so stressed on how to make sure we completed all the required steps of the funeral. We did miss a few things but as the family of the young man filed out, they all thanked us for being there and honoring their loved one. Our mistakes were nothing…
You showed up. That matters.
Thank you for the comfort you gave the grieving family.
So sorry for their loss and yours.
So sorry for your loss ????
So that lady was me on Saturday morning.
We were in Tokyo due to go into the country on Saturday. You know, the Saturday with the super typhoon? So the hotel in the country told us not to come (with a full refund) because of the danger. We needed to check out of our Tokyo hotel which was full, so we were facing being on the streets. Fortunately we threw a credit card at the problem (yay Ms Visa) and rode out the typhoon in 6 star luxury watching the clouds swirl around Tokyo Tower. We were very fortunate as so many in this beautiful country have sustained severe damage. Feeling very grateful.
I am sure your creativity is just a little depleted, but this downtime is giving it the energy it needs to come out roaring! Go team Ilona and Gordon!
I am sorry the scene didn’t work out for you. Not being a writer myself, I can have all the sympathy in the world and still not fully understand what that feels like to you. I can only say that whatever you feel is good enough for your devoted readers (ME!), we all will be honored and delighted to read it.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada so I had a wonderful day visiting with friends and family while eating great food. It sounds like you need a day away from work and the house to just have fun. I hope things get better , take care.
P.S. I’d just like to say that my family and I are grateful for your writing as it has brought untold hours of entertainment to our lives so thank you .
Ellen D says
Hmmm mine was embarrassing. Though I did provide my neighborhood with lots of laughs. My day off and hubby didn’t have to be at work until 12:30. So when he leaves I’m still in my pjs and slippers. His birthday is Christmas Eve and I found a gift for him I saw last year but couldn’t get my hands on. So I ordered it. Anyway he’s leaving and I follow him out to the carport. Staying put because you know jammies & slippers with no robe. As he pulls out of his turn around I see a slim brown box on his trunk. I start waving my arms and screaming “STOP!” at the top of my lungs. He doesn’t hear or see me and he’s pulling out on a busy street. I’m now sprinting down the driveway, holding onto my bottoms which now want to go south for the winter. I watch the box slide off as he turns. Still sprinting I’m chanting “don’t get run over don’t get run over.” Reaching the end of the drive I see no cars in our lane but plenty in the oncoming. In a controlled slide I take the corner and charge over still holding my pants I bend over and grab the box. As I do so, my boobs spill out. I’m a healthy girl. Look up to see a neighbor in the opposite lane maybe 2 feet away with his eyes bugging out and his mouth open. Cover my boobs with the box and still holding on to my pants I charge back up the drive. Phones ringing. It’s my husband. “Honey I think something fell off the car…
hahaha…what a day!
Was the box okay??
Judy B says
That begs to be inserted in a book.
Wes D says
Really sorry for shitty day. Send link where we can donate chocolate ????
Bill from nj says
You can look at those 3000 words several different ways: 1)know that those 3000 words likely are better than 3000 words anyone else could write (like me),just they didn’t meet your standards,and 2)Brahms took over 20 years to finish his 1st symphony,he destroyed a lot of what he wrote as not being good enough,but he ended up with a masterpiece;not only that but the ideas he had weren’t wasted,they ended up as musical themes in other pieces where they did fit,quartets, a piano concerto and other pieces. That idea you threw away will lead to something greater,and what you tossed may likely end up working great in a different story,maybe w modifications:).
I also will add that 3000 words lost trying to create something fun and original is much less depressing than writing a bs document for work that takes days and then having to start over because some auditor type with the imagination of a sea slug demands you use some format some other group of sea slugs decided was the one right and true way to do it back in 1974 *gag*.
I’m sorry your scene didn’t work! I’m sure the book will be awesome when you’re done. I’ve loved all of your series.
I recommend watching maru jump in and out of the big box on you tube
I spent my day rereading Sapphire Flames. It was good the first time around but so much better the 2nd time….one can only surmise it will be even better than that with the 3rd reading. So. Thank you!
Tonight I went to support group and three of the ladies lost their parents since May. One of them lost her mother this morning. A day before her mother’s birthday. Holidays will be hard for her this year.
Well today is exactly 2 month’s since my mom’s sudden passing in her sleep. 68 years old. Your books and blog has helped kept me going though this, and I thank thee for that. :’)
Monday is going well. Even better when I found out I could finally attend one of your book signings for the first time! Totally stoked to see you guys in DE.
When all is difficult, my first solution is a cup of tea.
And for creativity, an activity outside, maybe ?
I had surgery for the first time 13 days ago (not something vital). When I came back, my daughter (4) got a gastroenteritis. It became so bad, I spent a night at hospital with her 7 days after my surgery.
This monday was pretty cool, I was home. I had my tea.
My daughter eat a lot and is bursting energy.
On days like that I just keep reminding myself what the wise man said. ‘This too shall pass’
Re: giving up. Once you’ve given a thing a good thorough effort and found it to be unworkable, it’s only sensible to set it aside. One of two things will happen. It will work itself out in your back-brain or it will make way for a better idea. Relax for awhile . Don’t think about it. I know from past experience, when you’re done, it will be wonderful and I will be grateful for it.
I understand all too well the feeling. I’ve been trying to write a decent pitch for my story for the last month, and nothing, nada, zero. It just sucks.
Margaret R says
Ilona (and Gordon) – I just want you to know how much happiness you have brought to me (a complete stranger) and many others by sharing your stories with us. Reading great stories has gotten me through many a stressful time in my life, times when I thought I might not make it through. Reading took me out of my own crappy situation and into someone else’s imaginary crappy situation! I’d much rather read about running from a dragon with my sword at the ready, then worrying about life! It was Canadian Thanksgiving this past week-end and I’m very grateful for wonderful author such as you both. Thank you.
Mine is ughhh…made a big gaffe…have to clean it up somehow ….UGHHHH
13 year old daughter started day by refusing to go to school because she is ‘too fat’ for her clothes. Several hugs and patient conversations later, drove her there 30 minutes late. Then off to deal with ongoing full-house renovation, including electrician who shouts at me when I note that he failed to wire the bedrooms for the light fixtures we gave him. My shoulders hurt, and I feel like I’ve got electric current buzzing through my veins. Sigh. I generally like working with people… but some days, don’t you just want to tell them to go bother someone else for a while?
Oof. I run into that a lot with programming, too. Write it one way, then I go to add a new feature and (if it’s a personal project) end up completely re-writing major parts of the code so it all flows better, but halfway through I realize the updates won’t work and scrap them all.
Monday was actually pretty good. Closed up the camp for the winter and headed home, then to the barn to hang out and watch some lessons by a centered riding instructor. Rode the pony bareback for a few minutes and then went back home to watch a volleyball anime for 2 hours before playing volleyball for an hour and then watching another hour of the anime 🙂
Candy Daniels says
Your Monday sounded a lot like my Monday. Arg… Mondays…
At my weekly weigh-in, I gained a pound. (sigh)
Bill from nj says
I know the feeling but a pound is nothing to obsess about, water can do that easily,a pint of water would do that). I wish someone would come up with a simple,cheap way to measure body fat percentage,weight is not a great measure in terms of short term measurements.
Oh, for heavens sake! Have you taken a good look at your recent past? Dog going blind, find vets, more vets, cant save eye. Kid sick. Really sick. Can’t find cause, can’t travel because worried about kid. Then everybody sick. You’re still working, planning, trying to organize life, multiple books. Multiple books is like trying to organize multiple lives for other people. Go set something on fire, break up bricks, whatever releases aggression. Then a nice glass of wine, maybe several, and give your self a big pat on the back for getting this far without actually killing anybody. For real, I mean.
So sorry about your scene. It would have been wonderful (because anything that passes your evaluation is better than good). We bow to your decision. You are the ones that have to say “This is my work.” If you are not willing to, then you shouldn’t.
Let it go, at least for now. If the plot needs it, it will resolve itself while it rests on the back burner of your brains.
I would have told you about my Monday last night, if I had not been so tired. I was, at 10:30 PM just home from a trip to Philadelphia to celebrate my son’s wedding. It was a great time. I love my new daughter and I saw some of my favorite family at an occasion that was not a funeral!
But the plane trip did me in. United has just made their seats smaller and closer together again. It is impossible to move at all if you are belted in and the turbulence was with us on this flight.
By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was pet the cats and go to bed. Alas the cats are still at the kennel and I had pulled the sheets to wash.
It’s still a great trip and I’m very glad I went, but I was so tired.
Gotta go get the cats out of hock. It will probably be less than my hotel bill…
Similar to throwing out a painting. Maybe set it aside for a month, and then re-write?
How frustrating! I think everything you write is fantastic so I hope to read the scenes as an “outtake ” one day.
Hope a cup of tea & swim in the pool will rejuvenate you & bring you some joy. Your writing is such a great escape for me & I appreciate the effort you put into it.
Kim Collings says
I saw a t-shirt today that said, “I think I seized the wrong f***ing day”
Sometimes you just have to embrace the suck. But I’m sorry you are so frustrated
because your efforts (and sharing on this blog) have helped a lot of us.
I now know what I am getting a few people for Christmas. Awesome.
Usually my cat sitting is MORE than my hotel bill! I stay at a 3 star hotel to save money so I can afford the in home sitter for my cats, lol!!!
What a great t-shirt shirt! Good to know.
That’s the beauty of sunsets and sunrises. They mark an end and a new beginning. Chin up, not every day is productive to your work and not every day has to be. You have fans that love your books. Sit back, zone out, play a few video games where you kill monsters and let your subconscious work it out.
Mary H says
We were on vacation in Arizona last week. I Re-read Burn For Me (nth time), White Hot (nth time), now re-reading Wildfire. Ilona and Gordon, thank you for keeping me sane, occupied, and functional through cancer, heart trouble, knee replacement, aging, forgetting half my stuff, and all the other crap the world throws at us. Thank you for all the strong, beautiful women and the men strong enough and smart enough to be their partners. Thank you for the glimpses of your life, good and bad. BDH, thank you for sharing the good, the bad, and the just plain crazy. Love and prayers for you all.
Thanks for sharing the peek into your writer’s room. Thank you for writing your books. I’m enjoying a Kate Daniels re-read and gosh darn I love your fight scenes. Your scenes are so well written I can picture each slash and swing and kick. I just finished a huge volunteer commitment and it felt so good to escape into the Keep where fighting is allowed. Kick, punch, swing, stab!
Judy B says
Monday 14 October, is Thanksgiving in Canada.
I live alone, but had family over for the big meal. It was lovely.
Now I’m sitting on the front deck watching a soft rain fall. Autumn, Maritime Canada, all is well. I took a picture, but alas I have no idea how to insert one here.
Getting ready for cataract surgery. Will need the other eye done soon as well. Just in time since I dont think I could continue working any longer.
Only 30 min past schedule.
Monday pretty much sucked! I wrote a 2-page comment venting and then I realized there’s no reason to bring everyone else down with my depressing thoughts and frustrations.
I hope your creativity flows. I really appreciate your books, they give me a world to escape to when this one is just too awful. I hope Tuesday is an awesome day for you both.
While I’d like to be helpful because I enjoy your writing very much and want you to write more! faster! pleaseeeee! I’ve no clue how to actually do that. I did want you to know that I on purpose let my son “accidentally” listen in to some of the scenes of Sweeping the Blade because Maude is better at explaining than I ever will be. I think it made a positive difference in both of our lives. I hope today is a better writing day (see more faster please above).
Well, if it’ll make you feel any better I’m working on a story with my eldest right now and I think the total amount of words we’ve got after 3-4 weeks of work is around 7000. 😀
Maybe you can run away and stay in a tree house?
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9728645 <= this is a local one that might feature in trip plans eventually…
Monday ended up being great. Despite my sleep schedule still being iffy (stupid text messages from my ex not helping, even if I saw them some time after he sent them…) I navigated my demanding teen-cats, dealt with morning stuff, and did a reasonable work out, and then felt wonderful and full of energy, which by itself feels like a win – between the loss of muscle tone and fluoquinolone fatigue and tissue damage, there's been a lot of "that feels good, I need to nap now". But that's finally fading, and I'm going to start teaching again soon (okay, at least B and I will start working together soon)… and I got (inadvertent) guilt mail from Shifu recently. (I mean, I miss her too, and also hope I can make it to town to train… but part of me doesn't want to show my face in my current state. Also, my schedule is a mess because of a conference in Austin that starts on Jan 3. Seriously, who does that?)
So, to the lab! And a multi-hour meeting with B, in which we went over a couple of proposals, our conference schedule (there are two conference in Europe this summer we really want to attend… and they're on the same days) more about the Edinburgh trip I'm most likely going on next month*, and about classes I could teach this summer, and the programming class I'm working on for the department. Throw in being invited to teach mycology classes at the local garden and brewing store, a promise to teach natural fermentation bread baking… and after spending the last few months mostly as a hermit, I'm starting to feel like I have my teeth in things. (And should be very careful to not get over-committed, especially while I'm still recovering.)
* I'm freaking out about cat care more than anything? My cats are used to an off leash romp in the woods every day, which works because they come when I call, and check in if they get out of sight – and I don't know if that relationship is portable. I mean, my relationship with the Gremlins is weird, no doubt.
I heard Joss Whedon once say about writing that, if a script just isn’t working no matter what you do, then find your favorite scene, the one that feels just perfect by itself, and throw it out because that is most likely what is blocking everything else.
For myself, I would add that you should put it in a box because its time may come at some point in the future.
When I ran into this problem, I changed POV. If that didn’t work, like you, I deleted the scene.
Kristian H says
I write software, not prose, but sometimes things just don’t fit.
It takes great maturity to let go of it, instead of trying to make it work.
Discouraging, though, I know.
On the plus side, we love what you create that does fit. And the snippets from things that don’t are pretty great, too.
Hope you are having a better day tomorrow!
My Monday was 6 periods of clumsy l our students trying to do practical work. Followed by a meeting and the ever constant threat of – school inspection!
Tuesday has been similar -I’ve just put some marking down!
I’m re-reading the edge series. As readers I think we’re good, take care of yourself and prioritize your needs. Though I miss Innkeeper… I’ll patiently wait for Hugh’s next installment. I can’t speak for everyone but you and your husband have my support and well wishes!
Ohh, I miss the Innkeepers series too!! Every time I reread it, I’m just craving more! I love all the characters so much and just want to know more!!
barbie doll says
I am so sorry. You have had and are in a very stressful time. I can only hope that there is improvement soon. Some things just won’t fit and it hurts so bad to get rid of them. I trust you to take care of yourself and your family before anything else. All the best
My Monday stopped with my 2.5year old jumping around and falling on his head—> crisis, luckily nothing really bad.
This morning my 6year old fell of his bicycle in the morning and of the Skateboard in the afternoon. His whole face is full of scratches, partly swollen. Luckily, again nothing really serious.
I‘d say: it can only get better. Don‘t feel bad about the writing. I‘m sure in the end the book will be great – as always:)
I love all your work and your blog. I think I can come near to imagining how it must feel to bin a precious scene that you have worked long and hard on…. definitely way worse than having to unravel a dog chewed mohair jersey you have JUST laboriously knitted and then to attempt another more crinkly smaller version only to have that not work ….. so unravel again….give up on that project… actually I still have the ball of wool… hopefully straightening itself …. scarf?
d LM a says
Ya forgot the part that made ya write the scene.
Descriptive smile, scenery, entrance attitude
Don’t ya just hate tha sh**
If it’s gone, gone … for always gone the bad/good news is you already done cut it! Sail on & shine you crazy diamond ????
There is always tomorrow. *hugs*
It doesn’t help, but we all have times in our lives when nothing works. You can, indeed, give up, but at some point in the future, that (or another) scene will come together in your mind and spill out onto the pages beautifully. Let it rest until it comes to fruition. I’m thinking an all-over massage therapy session may in order. When the muscle tension is relieved, other tensions seem to follow it on the way out. You are running like a headless chicken with appearances and illnesses and considering a move. Take a “mental health” day, and just do something for yourself. The biggest problem is figuring out what is really yours to do, and what it is that you have to let someone else do.
You know what? You really don’t owe us readers anything. We love what you write, we are panting to see what’s next, but at the same time, you have already given us SO MUCH that it’s time we sat back and got grateful for what we’ve got and let you relax for ten minutes. I am sure I’m not the only one who would be willing to wait for the next installment of your imaginations to be done as well as the previous books you’ve written have been done. Take a breath. We are eager, but don’t let anybody push you. I, for one, care about the characters you have created for me to escape my drab and dull life, but when you produce more, I would want it to be the same excellence you’ve given me in the past. For that, you need to be relaxed with creative juices flowing. Give yourself time to think, and it’ll come to you. The past proves it. We’ll be here when you release it and we’ll snatch it up and devour it and say, “ahhh!” when we’re done.
I have a sign I look at now and then to remind me of a truth. It says, “Every day, do a little bit more, and soon, everyone will expect more.” But there are only so many hours in a day, and at some point, you just cannot do more.
Kathy Spencer says
So true, hope you both take a break to relax body and mind xxxK
Ms. Kim says
MASSAGE, Massage, massage, massssaaaa … snzzzzzzz
Joyce Wilke says
Could not have said that better! You need a break! Take it and enjoy!
If you need something to take your mind off of writing you could always check out the Thrillist’s list of the “The 21 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Series Ever”, published last Friday… Just saying.
Well, I hope today went smoother for you. I hate when I think something should work a certain way and it doesn’t. My problem is letting go so I can go in a different direction.
Good Luck on breaking thru the block
Robin Moore says
I write poetry off and on. Its both personal therapy and an art that pleases me. I have stuff that doesn’t work right now. I just save it for now. It becomes relevant later. I consider it a hint of what is to come from my subconscious. A year or so down the road. it becomes relevant, makes sense, and gets finished. It was a message from my future self perhaps. Who knows? If it won’t tell you everything yet, maybe you should relax, get a massage, go for a walk instead.
I agree with nrml. When I discovered your books, I. just ate them up, all of them, starting with the Inkeeper Series. I was delighted to recognize characters from the Edge novels incorporated into Inkeeper. I missed the first reference, but picked it up the last time through. Another author I love wrote that the Beginnings and the Ends are easy. We get stuck in the midddle. He was speaking about life, the middle is tricky, but I can see it applying to writing. Rest, breathe, enjoy your spouse, we readers will still be here.
Ouch…that has to hurt !!! Sending positive waves / warm fuzzies / hopeful prayers your direction.
I think we should totally be allowed to read this scene anyway… >.>
Monday (a holiday, I think?) for me capped a weekend of fixing one failed system and going to meetings in response to another system that failed Friday in the middle of trying to do planned several weeks of work of maintenance. (The latest failure completely derailed the planned maintenance which was going really well – getting done faster than expected. Hopefully, they can get back in the grove after fixing the other failures.
Know that we all love your work as it provides us a great escape from our own troubles. Wish we could reciprocate for you!
-Trying to wait patiently for next Innkeeper, next Hugh, next anything at all you want to write! If you need to temporarily cut a block of text until it works out better in your author-mind, all cool. Meanwhile, I am re-reading Sweep of the Blade. Have alllllll your other books to re-read and discover what I missed or didn’t grasp the first ten times through. Your writing is awesome – the worlds you create! The people/creatures/critters who become so believable and likeable and really dear friends that it is a grief to end a story – except, yay!, I can go back to the beginning and read it again. I bite my tongue to not bellow: WOULD YOU HURRY UP!!!!! and instead would beseech – this is just terrific. Please enjoy your creative genius and will wait not-at-all-patiently.
J.Lee Conaway says
Monday was okay. Today (Tuesday) is not going so good. Money not being where it should be, people not showing up as scheduled, other people making demands that aren’t acceptable and health choosing to be iffy on top of it all.
I have a picture of t
a grinning hedgehog on its back wearing socks that I would love to send to you. It would make you giggle. And if there’s anybody who need to giggle right now it sounds like you. ????????????
I flew to Buffalo to ensure “customer success” and when I arrived, the customer was LIVID. I told him I’d like to know what went right and what went wrong with his installation and deployment, and it took 6 straight hours of his ranting of all the things he hated before he came up with 2 things that went right. In the meantime, I managed to get 5 days worth of project tasks accomplished in a single day. And then I drove to a restaurant that provided me with the wine and pasta I needed for comfort food in the parking lot of my hotel. Soooo…glad to be home, even if its with a mini-PTSD complex.
Take time to relax and re-group. Your books are amazing and worthy of infinite re-reading. Thank you.
Melissa B says
– I love everyone’s ideas for y’all and roll it into a min staycation or escape up to Maine after the New England trip and enjoy their scenery and tons of Lobster rolls ????. I LOVE THEM!
SJ Powol says
that makes two of us. my day job as a tech well they just gave us our “we’re doing some corporate downsizing …..” papers. I’m middle of my third edit before posting to an agent for publishing and I’ve hit a wall. I definitely blame the stress. Thank you for inspiring me and remember that this too shall pass.
Can we have a look at your “bin”? I know you have decided to cut it, but I also know I´ll love to read it anyways <3
And about STRESS, just give up and try again tomorrow. Seriously, to keep fighting is so important as to take time for yourselves without guilt or pressure. It´s like trying to look for a ring, a watch, or other item, and decide to just stop because you are getting frustrated… and later it appears where you didn´t expect to find it. So, thank you for sharing and good luck next time. Best wishes for all.
Mondays suck. I find though with blocks that sometimes putting aside the scene and writing a different one sometimes helps. Good luck and we love you no matter what happens.
Steve W says
Seems to me its time for you two to take a break/holiday, relax and chill for a while, recharge you batteries so to speak. No matter how much we readers love your books and can’t wait for your next book, we would much rather wait longer and have you in a good place mentally and physically, take some time out just for yourselves.
lots of love and respect to you both
So ok. It might be time for a cheer-up comment.
I’m JUST NOW reading Sapphire Flames. (I’d ordered it, hell, I was CRAVING it … and I kept it in its shipping package … until the day after I’d done the great move-out while they did a termite-tenting for the whole house … as a reward to myself for doing all the prep-and-schlep.)
So … nearing the end of SF, already feeling withdrawal symptoms, craving more …
I HATE IT that you had to cut scenes from SF. I LOVED the little snippet (cut from the book) that you shared a few months back. If there’s more like this on the cutting room floor – for ANY of your novels; one-in-progress, those in past, those yet to come – well, that’s just a floor little with golden nuggets.
I totally LOVE how you are developing Catalina as a character, and am so pleased to see you taking on character development (as full-on protagonist) for someone who is not normally so leadership-oriented and kick-ass. You’ve given us enough background on how she’s managed to grow into her role, and the mechanics of her becoming the Head of House, to make the storyline believable and tractable.
This is a very fine read, and I’m super-happy with it.
I’m also really pleased that you’re doing more character development with other supporting characters, and letting them grow into their own a bit more also.
You two have been working super-hard over the past year +++. AND you’ve had recent travel.
Second (or third) the recommendation for massage that another commenter posted above.
Much love, take care of yourselves, we’re looking forward to the next one, but want you both to be well above all.
Cby Bailey says
My Grandma Cat always told us, girls, if we wanted something new we had to make room for it which meant getting rid of something. I remember my aunt made room in her closet and shoe rack for a future husband and it worked. Some call it a purge, some call it giving up. Who knows, it may reincarnate in another story altogether. I have faith you will come up with something so sublime that will fit to-a-T.
I have so many questions… Was she single when she decided to make space in her closet for a new husband? Is this “if you build it they will come “, in reverse??
If so, I’m gonna have to make space in my closet. For a million dollars. ????
Could you please share the three thousands words that you cut on your website. I would love to read it. Thank you
Michelle Outland says
I’m a nerd who has worked 25 yrs in corporate America, but I totally understand the frustration of throwing up your hands after weeks/months of thinking you have a plan … a really good idea…and trying to get your shit together… then hitting the wall as you see IT JUST WON’T Work…..and yes, wanting to cry in utter despair.
You do realize that you could have postet it here and you Would have made all of us very happy? And we Would have praised you to heaven and back and you Would have felt so good! Think about it next time, LOL ????.
My dad was an old time small town newspaperman, which means he was the editor and publisher, and sometimes also the reporter, photographer, and even the typesetter. He was an excellent writer and editor. I am a technical writer, and the best advice he ever gave me was “Don’t be afraid to kill your favorite child.” He meant that sometimes you have a great sentence, paragraph, or even a chapter that just doesn’t fit, and it is a waste of time to try and make it fit.
Not even kidding, my daughter’s puppy ate a weeks worth of work of hand drawn construction documents which I had left unattended for about 30-45 minutes on dining room table. Because of course he did. Sometimes you win some, some times your puppy eats your homework. I feel your pain, y’all.