Onward to 2017

Took a look at my “resolutions” blog post from January, and thought I’d do a bit of a recap/goals for next year. As far as my resolutions for 2016 went…well, the blogging once a month almost made it. I think I missed twice, but also posted more than once a few times too. So, let’s call that one fulfilled.

The Writing Goals. I did succeed in having at least two short stories on sub at all times. Yay. As far as the whole, have an entire draft of the novel written and polished and out for querying. HAHAHA. I’m a sweet summer child. In fairness, I ended up scrapping the novel I’d started earlier this year, and started fresh in May. I’m almost finished with the last chapter in the second act, and according to my outline, Act 3 chugs right along. Not that the outline has changed…a lot…during the process… I wanted to have at least the second act finished by the end of the year, but I’ve been hit with a nasty cold/fever and there’d probably just be pages of characters sitting around being pissy that I’d have to fix in post. I wrote a tiny bit of flash, but that’s a goal that will carry over into next year.

Read More. I’ve read a lot more this last year than in previous years, I think. What I might do is start keeping a list of what I finish in 2017 so I have hard numbers to look back on. I have a ton of YA and novellas stockpiled, so 2017 might be the year to tackle those. I was terrible and didn’t do any reviews on goodreads…bad me. It feels kinda weird reviewing books of people I know/might know in the future. Fellow writers, do you have this issue? I need to make an account that doesn’t use my name.

Weight Goals. So, that was a total fail. Oh well. I think I gained two or three pounds over the last year. I think I also need to accept that the way I exercised in my teens doesn’t apply anymore. I’m not too down about this “failure” though because I’m not upset with how I look, and I’ve accepted that post-accident my activity levels can’t be the same. Also, I should probably eat out less. Should. Might. Maybe.

2016 was a great year in exploring my new hobby: photography. Had a blast on two big photo trips, both of which I covered earlier in the blog (wild horses in NC, and the Palouse). 2017 should also be an exciting year when it comes to photography. I have two trips already booked: Yellowstone in mid-January, and Norway in June. I’ve got some photography goals for next year which include two separate weekly themed challenges. Even though I petered out about halfway through the Dogwood52 2016 challenge, I am much more inspired by the “advanced” 2017 challenge list. I’ve also joined a second challenge run through facebook, put on my photographer Bob Noble. It looks a little more relaxed and personal than the Dogwood one since the group will be capped at 150 people (sitting at I think 110 now). As a way to try and stay motivated and keep the blog active, I’ll probably start doing roundups of the photos taken with notes about the images on the blog.

The writing goals from last year pretty much all carry over into this year. I’d like to do a few more writing-related posts. I’ve said before I’d “review” some of the online classes I’ve taken (Gotham, LitReactor, Cat Rambo), and I’d like to get those written. I’d also like to do a post on my slush reading experience (I’m a slush reader for Uncanny Magazine).

Hard to think about weight goals right now when things like breathing and swallowing hurts (curse you, cold) but I’m going to vary up the workout routine more, try and get some more HIIT workouts in, etc. Finding workout videos and routines I can do post-accident has been a process, but I’ve started doing more barre workouts and like them a lot.

Ok, this ended up being longer than I expected. Off to drown myself in tea. I leave you with my first photo for the Dogwood2017 challenge: tell a story using the Rule of Thirds compositional rule. Cogwheel loves watching the fish get fed. Thankfully, we’ve never had a cat that tried to go fishing (though both Beth and Cogwheel have fallen in).

week-1-rule-of-thirds

Anniversary Trip to the Summit House Restaurant

 

Husbeast and I celebrated our five-year anniversary last weekend with a trip to the Summit House Restaurant near Mt. Rainier. It’s a bit of a trek out there, but the drive is pretty and it was a gorgeous day. We got there a little early and checked out the base area of the resort before taking the gondola up. There’s a gift shop (with lots of high SPF products—yes! Snagged some lip balm with SPF +30) and a café, though the café was closed for a wedding. Looks like there are some nice hiking opportunities in the area too, though we didn’t investigate. Restroom facilities are located at the base, and I don’t know if there are any up at the Summit House. I commented to Husbeast that there are a lot of “don’t feed the wildlife” signs, but I didn’t see any animals—not even birds. More on that later.

IMG_0069

The gondola ride is fun, and Husbeast managed it fine despite not being fond of heights. You’re fully enclosed and it’s actually surprisingly quiet once you get away from the landing/receiving points. I can also report that it goes at a pace conducive to hatching Pokemon Go eggs. It’s not entirely ADA friendly, but Husbeast didn’t have a problem with his forearm crutch. The gondola can come to a complete stop if need be, so someone capable of standing transfers with a mechanical/folding wheelchair may be able to make it work. The gondolas themselves are pretty spacious, and the gondola operators were all respectful and accommodating.

IMG_0071

Food was pretty good, and this is the first place where Canadian Husbeast gave the poutine a passing grade. He only needs to go to 6,872 feet to get it again. Pictures of the mountain didn’t turn out great because it was super hazy that day and I didn’t have a polarizer.

IMG_0076

Oh, and remember the “don’t feed the wildlife” signs? The reason resides up at the Summit House,  and people completely disregard the signs: saw a woman dump a pile of seeds in front of her so she could video her kid trying to pet the chipmunk.

Not an inexpensive day trip once you factor in the drive and gondola fee on top of the food, but it’s a fun excursion for people looking to get out of the city.

IMG_0077-Pano

Race Day

Ok, that’s a misleading title because it’s not actually about racing. But it kind of is, so work with me here. I missed blogging last month and will try to make up for it with dual posts this month. Going with more photography adventures, so expect picture heavy posts.

I have an uber Awesome Aunt who has always been big on gifting “experiences” rather than things as presents. For Christmas last year, she gifted a “race car experience” to my brother, who we’ll call Little Brother: Race Day 274and he finally scheduled the date and went out to the track yesterday. The website encourages photography, so off I went to watch. He got to bring a friend, let’s call him Friend K:

Race Day 208(not to be confused with the Intrepid K mentioned in previous posts). The company is Rusty Wallace Racing, and uses the short track at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA (it’s almost fair time! Yay). Unfortunately, there’s a tall chain link fence blocking off the track from the grandstands, and visitors aren’t allowed in the pit area (duh).

Race Day 036But, if you climb to nearly the top of the grandstand then you can get an unobstructed view of the cars for about half the track. No cool pit shots or of the cars coming straight on, but this was a great opportunity for me to practice panning. Also a good exercise in controlling shutter speed. The sweet spot in getting detail on the cars but with motion blur on the wheels was tight, and got worse as my arms got tired from holding the camera up. All shot with a Canon 7D Mk 2 with a 100-400mm lens at 400mm. Used a polarizer for the panning shots.

The company had I think 7 cars, and anywhere from 2-4 on the track at a time. The doors don’t open like conventional cars, so the drivers get to climb in through the window.

It’s not a large track so the cars can’t get remotely close to NASCAR speed, but they seemed to have fun gunning down the straight.

Car racing isn’t really my thing, but this was a unique photo opportunity. Awesome Aunt does it again with the cool experiences.

Race Day 096.jpg

 

I’m Not a Landscape Photographer. Also, Dog Photos

Squeaking in here on the last day of June. Oh, and happy belated birthday to my blog. Somehow I’ve managed to blog somewhat consistently for over a year! Finally got some of the Palouse photos edited. Prints available at my SmugMug site: https://jaimeomayer.smugmug.com/. Fair warning: this will be a more picture-heavy post.

IMG_9053

Had a great time over in (at?) the Palouse in eastern Washington with some of the Muench Workshops guys. Our fearless leaders were Mike Brandt and Randy Hanna. Going east of the mountains during a hot spell was a bit rough, but for the most part we were shooting at times where the heat was tolerable (by my “I hate the heat and live in Seattle for a reason” standards). I was also lucky to spend the workshop with a great group of fellow photographers that were friendly and easy to get along with. This was a different experience than the last workshop I was on photographing the wild horses, and eye-opening. I’m new to photography as a hobby—I decided to “get serious” about it back in December and signed up for an online course. Being a noob, I’m still trying out photographing all sorts of subjects instead of carving out a niche. But, I’m beginning to think that 1) I’m more of a nature and wildlife kind of person, and 2) I can scratch landscapes off the list. I like looking at landscape photos, and it’s nice to be out on location and all, but sitting around for two hours waiting for the horses to do something interesting never felt boring. Spending the same amount of time waiting for the right cloud to be behind a barn…yea, it’s not the same. There’s just something about getting up at 4am and then being on location for the next two or three hours, and I’m like…so, barn’s still there. Not moving.

IMG_9377

 

Or, yep, those rolling hills, not going anywhere.

IMG_8602

The workshop leaders thought it was amusing that I’d tend to get bored and go photograph something like bees…

IMG_8581

…or sit on the ground during all the waiting.

IMG_8636

Yes, getting low makes for a nice, different perspective. Also, spoiler alert, but contrary to popular opinion, my “get low” approach wasn’t so much of a “it must be easy for the short, young(ish) person” as it is me not being able to kneel or crouch after the car accident a few years ago. Sitting is easier. Especially since I FORGOT my freaking Walkstool at home. That thing would’ve been so nice to have on hand.

IMG_8947-Pano-Edit

I think my favorite part was the night shoot where we practiced astrophotography. That was the part I was most looking forward to, and it didn’t disappoint. Of course, shooting on a crop sensor (I use a Canon 7D Mark II) with a 24mm lens while standing next to a guy with a full frame camera and a rented Zeiss 15mm lens that is nothing but gorgeous—it has a way of making one feel inadequate. Actually, I think everyone in the workshop, including the leaders, were feeling the Zeiss envy. But, I’m still happy with my photos, and seeing how the light-painting technique is done was cool.

IMG_8773

In non-Palouse related news, I can finally post a few shots I took of this cutie pie, Gambit, who is co-owned by my sister and her roommate. Did the photoshoot to get some shots for said roommate’s birthday, which has now passed, so no risk of spoilers.

I never wanted to get into portrait photography since I vaguely hate people, but pet portrait photography I can dig. Consider this my hanging out a shingle. Rates to be determined.

Wish my cats would be more willing models.

Photography Fun

A bit of a photo-heavy post here recapping some of my recent photography adventures. Currently mulling over a writing-related post so that will come in the next weekish or two. The novel is finally underway (yay), if also a bit slow-going. First chapter down!

But, on to photography fun: Things I Learned…

Things I Learned Pretending to be a Wedding Photographer

A dear friend of mine had a small courthouse ceremony the other day and asked if I’d take photos during it. Of course, I said. Ermagurd what do I do? I thought. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials, tips, and blogs full of advice and “## Things Every Amateur Should Know About Wedding Photography.” So I did some reading, though not a ton of it was relevant since this was a small, informal ceremony. It helped that Dear Friend is very understanding and it’s not like I had a contract with a bridezilla to deliver perfect wedding memories.

IMG_1684

 

The main thing I learned pretending to be a wedding photographer is that…I’m not cut out to be a wedding photographer. Based on the experience of my own wedding, plus ones that I’ve attended, a good wedding photographer is unobtrusive. They crouch, kneel, climb up high—whatever it takes to get the good shot, without getting in people’s way. The good ones can slip up to the aisle, quietly kneel down next to a row of chairs, get the shot, and back away. The bad ones go into the middle of the aisle and block the guests’ view. Or get in people’s way. Basically, they’re not unobtrusive. Then, there’s me. “Quietly” doing anything like “kneeling” or “crouching” doesn’t happen anymore post-car accident. I’m working on being able to go down on one knee, but it’s one thing to kneel on a yoga mat that’s on top of carpet, and another to try and do it on hardwood floors. I’m also not comfortable being, shall we say politely pushy, to get the shot. Good thing this wasn’t a “real” shoot because I wasn’t in position to get the first kiss. Also a good thing that the couple was happy to kiss again 😉

IMG_1785

All in all, a fun event and a happy one, but not something I’d want to do “for real.” I much prefer candid shots over poses, and think we got some good ones.

IMG_1954-HDR

Things I Learned Climbing a Mountain

Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit—we only climbed partway up the mountain. Elevation was around 1850ft on West Tiger Mountain. Dear Friend and I have been meaning to go on the Poo Poo Point-Chirico Trail hike for a while now, but between the weather and random things coming up we kept getting delayed. Last week we finally made it out, and it was a hike full of the glorious and the awful. Glorious: the weather was great—I think it hit the low 60s toward the end of the hike, nice breeze, beautiful views. Not a crowded hike, but we saw many other hikers and there’s a friendly sort of, as Dear Friend put it, hiker solidarity that happens on the trail.

IMG_2133

The not-so-great: well, Dear Friend is a few months pregnant now and this wasn’t the best trail for a couple of noob hikers to attempt. We made it up, but it’s a gain of 1700ft within just short of 2 miles. As we neared the first launch point (paragliders tend to hike this trail often in the spring-fall), the breeze picked up, and it’s a bit unnerving to see the trees swaying and hear the branches cracking as they bump each other. I’ve already had a tree fall on me, don’t need to repeat that experience. None came down while we were there, though there were plenty of fallen trees on either side of the trail.

IMG_2173-HDR

The views from both launch points are awesome.

IMG_2201

The awful part: for me, going up the trail was fine, whereas Dear Friend thought it was torture. We were switched for the hike back down. Thankfully I had trekking poles because otherwise I’d still be inching my way down. The trail is mostly rocky, some are wider, flatter, step-like things that aren’t too bad, but other parts of the trail are an uneven nightmare. Descending was really hard on my ankles in particular, followed by the knees. So, I learned that I’ll need to evaluate future hikes’ elevation gain and assess accordingly because even though the length roundtrip and the ascent weren’t a problem, getting back down was sucky.

IMG_2135-HDR

Things I Learned Attending the Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Ok, that title’s a stretch, but anywho. Well, first thing I learned was don’t go to the garden show two hours after a monster hike, ugh. However, it was a nice show, though I thought the theme, America the Beautiful, was a bit…I don’t know, I guess vague would suffice. I’m not saying America’s not beautiful, but it’s a big place. Most of the exhibitors went with Pac Northwest themes, which I like because 1) I live here for a reason, & 2) I like green.

IMG_2334-HDR

Really, what I learned from the garden show is that it’s an awesome place to see cute ideas for the dream writer’s cottage/shack/retreat. Sadly, I don’t have the pictures I took from last year’s show (they were less-than-great phone shots anyway) because there were some really cool standalone shed-type structures, but this year had some gems too.

IMG_2236

I love the idea of the dedicated writing space. It’s a sort of romantic, dreamy ideal that I love to pieces. The notion of it, anyway. Thing is, I’m enamored with the idea of being spirited away for weeks or months to do nothing but write. I mean, that sounds so awesome, right? Nothing else distracting me but writing, I’d-get-so-much-done. The words would just flow.

IMG_2262-HDR

Then I wake up and, you know, remind myself that I’m an adult and know myself well enough that there’s a reason I say that I like the idea of it. I do, it sounds great, but in reality it’s something where the fun factor would wear off really fast—for me. I’m a homebody. I pretty much already have a dedicated writing space…my desk. And, yea, I get distracted sitting at it, but here’s the thing—as much as I like to think that I need a big block of time to get into the groove during a writing session, say 4 hours, I’ve learned that realistically I write in bursts. I’m way more productive if I have a focused 30-45min session (sometimes longer depending on the situation) instead of sitting down with 4 hours of “free time.” If I sit down thinking I have 4 glorious hours, other stuff finds a way to come up. I’ll fall into a social media time suck, or the cats will need snuggling, or maybe I should go practice the violin, or I need to catch up on some reading, or…you get it.

IMG_2277-HDR

IMG_2283-HDR

Actually, this one is probably more along the lines of a writer’s budget.IMG_2316-HDR

There were a lot of cute small spaces that could work as writing spaces, and I adore them. But, at least when I’m in the first draft phase, they’re just an idea that I have to like from afar. In the revision stage, well, now we might be getting somewhere. But, let’s not put the cart before the horse.

IMG_2328-HDR

The Dogwood 52 challenge is in its 8th week! Still going strong. Had a quick family vacation in Vegas last weekend and got my Week 8 shot- Landscape: Wide Angle/Panorama. This is a 3 picture stitch of the Colorado River during a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon the husbeast and I went on. Taking off in a helicopter is way more fun than in an airplane. Just sayin’. More photos are on my flickr page.

Week 8- Wide Angle or Panorama

January: New Year, New Goals

Here we are, nearly halfway through January and I’m finally getting around to my New Year’s post with resolutions/goals and all that jazz. Well, one of my resolution/goals for this year is to blog more regularly…so there’s that. I’m trying to set what I consider realistic goals that I’ll actually attain with a little effort, rather than setting myself up for failure. So, my goals for 2016:

  • Blog at least once a month. I’ve been puttering around trying to think about content and figure out what I want this blog to be, getting hung up on “oh but it’s not writing-related enough.” I do plan on putting writing bits on here, but the blog is going to branch out a bit more to encompass my other hobbies. I’ve been getting more into photography, so expect to see more pictures on the blog. I’m also participating in the Dogwood 52 Challenge which is open to all, and it’s ok if you join late as there is no “start” date. It’s a weekly themed challenge with a ginormous facebook group, and several splinter groups also on facebook, flickr, twitter, etc.

Here’s my submission for the Week 2 theme: Traditional Landscape. Found a short, flat loop to hike near my house that goes around this little lake. It hasn’t been super cold here, so I was surprised to find the lake was frozen all the way across.

Fog on Yellow Lake

  • Have at least two works on submission at all times. When the flurry of New Year posts came out, I saw a lot of writers setting high submission goals (like, 10 pieces on sub), which was awe inspiring and depressing. Then I slapped myself and remembered rule #, I don’t know, it’s usually in the top 5 depending on who you ask: “Don’t compare yourself to others.” Two pieces isn’t a lot, but I think it’s a good goal for me that is achievable with a little effort. The number also fits with some of my other goals for the year.
  • In an ideal world, start, finish, and get the novel out for querying. I’d really like to have a rough draft done by summer so I can pitch it at PNWA this July. We’ll see. I’m finishing up the outline and trying out plotting using the index card system. I’m liking it more than my previous traditional format. Law school left me with a nervous twitch upon seeing traditional outlines.
  • Write some flash fiction. I’m considering flash anything less than 1500 words, with less than 1k the ideal. All last year I kept meaning to write some, even took a class with the fabulous Cat Rambo, but didn’t write any flash. The only short piece ended up being 2700 words (doing well, making the rounds and receiving some encouraging personal rejections).
  • Read more. And probably review more too. I probably won’t be doing reviews on the blog, but rather over on Goodreads. I go through phases of reading a lot, and then tailing off where I read more magazines and stuff rather than books. Actually, this really should be a goal aimed at curbing the book buying. Something like “must read x books before can buy a new one.” Bought a lot of books this year, especially at cons, but only read 4 or 5 new ones. I tend to reread a lot. I’m thinking that 3:1 is a good starting point.
  • Get back to my pre-accident weight. What New Year post would be complete without a weight loss goal? I’ve been holding steady at about 4-5 pounds heavier than I was before the car accident at the end of 2012. Some of that is me having more metal in my body than before, some (hopefully) is more muscle in my upper body since I’ve varied my workouts more than I did pre-accident, and definitely that I’m more sedentary. I think this might be the hardest goal to get done.

Week 1 theme: Self-portrait! Found out that what feels like a nice smile on my face I don’t like the look of on camera. Took 15-20 shots, settled on this.Week 1- Headshot self timer1-5-16

Onward and upward! Oh, and a sort of post-LASIK update. Very happy with the results overall, but I’m finding that I’m more sensitive to light, whether that’s the sun, interior lights, or the computer screen. I wear my Gunnar glasses a lot more at the computer. Not unexpected or uncommon, and I’m still so glad I decided to go through with the LASIK.

Cornea Carving…aka LASIK

Sorry for the radio silence, but I swear I really have been writing. However, I thought y’all might be interested in my recent foray into LASIK.

For nearly twenty years I’ve needed corrective lenses of some sort. I started with glasses in grade school, and graduated to contacts in junior high (my school district’s equivalent of middle school). I wore contacts for 14-16 hours a day, every day, for about thirteen years. My eye doctor wasn’t that pleased, and in law school I started having “floaters” appear in both eyes and signs of “laddering.” I received a stern lecture about the necessity of wearing my contacts less. Something about corneal detachment may have been mentioned but it’s been a while and I can’t really remember. “Wear contacts less or else,” was the gist of it. I tried to wear my glasses more, but back then, “more” meant taking my contacts out in the evenings. Maybe.

At the end of 2012, a car accident and the resulting recovery period forced a return to glasses. I can count the number of times I’ve worn contacts since then on one hand. It helps that I finally got frames that I liked (funky little shop in Wallingford called 4 Your Eyes Only). And, things were great. I’d thought about LASIK before, but my vision hadn’t been consistent for a year (one of the requirements), and the thought of having my eyes held open for ten minutes was freaky. But, as I met more people who’d had it done, I started thinking about it more. So, here I am.

October 1– Went in for LASIK at 9:05am and was out the door at 10:15. The actual laser surgery part is quick—maybe 10 minutes in the chair. It’s all the pre-op stuff that causes the appointment to take an hour or two. I was told to expect to be there for 2-3 hours, but I was the second person in the chair so I got done early.

This is kind of the best “surgery” I’ve had thus far because you get to eat breakfast in the morning. And, the surgeries seemed to run on time. Win-win. That may seem like nothing, but for anyone that’s had an 8am surgery scheduled and still been waiting come the afternoon and no food or liquids since midnight…yea.

There’s paperwork to start, mainly confirming what procedure you’re there for and the follow-up schedule. The first med I received was an anti-anxiety liquid that looked like dark cherry cough syrup and tasted about as bad. Then there was the first of many rounds of eye drops, and an alcohol swab over the eyes (disinfectant?). As I said earlier, I was most nervous about having my eyes held open for several minutes. What do they do about your eyes tearing? Doesn’t it burn? Nope. Eye drops to slow eye movement, capillary action (I think?), numbing, etc. No burning or tearing.

For me, the most uncomfortable part of the whole process was having the eyelid spacer thing put in. I have small eye openings, so there was a chance that I’d either have to have a blade-made flap (microkeratome) instead of a laser-made flap on my cornea. Whether using the blade or laser for flap creation, the machine needs to get good suction on your eye, and the laser one is slightly larger (it’s not as bad as it sounds). Fortunately, they were able to get the laser one to work. The eyelid spacer in my right eye was the only part that “hurt” in the entire process, and I hesitate to say “hurt” because it’s really more a discomfort. Accidentally poking yourself in the eye hurts; this doesn’t.

I was getting eye drops all the time (it felt like), and during the flap creation part it looks really weird. You can’t feel it aside from a sort of removed pressure, but you can “see” it happening. There’s no change in vision (that I noticed. I went in with -5 eyes though), but you can see/feel them peeling the flap back. It sounds gross, but I thought it was cool.

Once the flap was made in both eyes they do the actual laser correcting. I basically just sat there looking at a red dot. I didn’t feel the laser, but I could hear and smell it. It sounds like a machine rumbling near you, not overly loud, and smells like burning. It reminded me of what it smells like when you get a cavity drilled. They put a clear contact in to protect the flap at the end.

That was it. My vision fluctuated noticeably the first day, and it’s expected to for the first few weeks with gradual changes for a few months. My vision was markedly improved as soon as I sat up in the chair, but it’s not at the same level of clarity as with my glasses yet. My vision was blurry immediately upon getting up (they said it’d be like opening your eyes underwater, but honestly it’s been so long since I could do that I can’t say if that’s an accurate analogy), but it improved throughout the day. 5 hours after surgery most of the blurriness was gone. My nearish vision is good—I can see the TV from the couch!—but not yet to the glasses level.

For the first four hours after surgery I was instructed to put in artificial tears every half hour, then every hour until bed. Starting two hours after surgery, I’ve been putting in an antibiotic and a steroid eye drop. The antibiotic continues 4x a day for a week, the steroid continues until the bottle is empty. Artificial tears are as needed/frequently for the first month, & likely on a regular basis thereafter. I want to say they said my eyes would return to the same dryness level they were at before surgery, but I can’t remember. I was given a pain relief eye drop but didn’t feel the need for it.

My energy level was good after surgery and I didn’t find that LASIK impeded my normal activity. I didn’t spend much time in front of a computer during the first four hours after surgery, but I was at it in the evening without a problem. However, I’ve been wearing Gunnar glasses and will continue to do so for a while to reduce eye fatigue.

October 2– So, the plastic eye shield you have to sleep with the first night is the most irritating thing in the entire process. I found it annoying to try and sleep with it. My eyes were kind of blurry when I woke up, but after I put some artificial tears in they cleared up and are blur-free. Still not at glasses-level clarity/accuracy, but getting there. No pain. Have my one-day follow-up in a few hours.

Follow-up recap– Everything looks good according to my follow-up appointment. Healing well, and it looks like I’ll have 20/20 (or close, I was able to get half the letters on the 20/15 setting) vision once my eyes stop fluctuating. At this point it seems like what I’m lacking is crispness of images. During the vision test, I could see the letters but they appear blurry on the edges. This should resolve in a few weeks as the flap finishes healing. They took the temporary contact out & said everything looks good.

So, yay. If you’re able to get LASIK, I’d recommend it. It’s really not scary or painful and the results are fantastic. My surgery was performed at PCLI in Bellevue, but there are a number of LASIK surgeons in WA (and beyond, obviously). Blahblah disclosure, PCLI didn’t ask me to do this review, but if you’re considering LASIK I’m happy to chat more in depth.

Cats & the Writing Process

I’m feeling a bit lazy about writing a “real” blog post, so this is more of an excuse to post pictures of cats and dogs. But I’ll tie it into writing. Sort of.

Cats are great. Who doesn’t want a warm fuzzball that provides companionship yet doesn’t depend on you letting it out to use the bathroom? Except that cats are invaders. Invaders of space. Unfailingly, invaders of the space you’re currently occupying despite numerous other spaces begging to be invaded.

Sometimes they can be thwarted. Like with hand-knit beds and heating pads. It’s still on the desk, close enough for petting, but not in the “interrupts your groove” zone.

Equal opportunity, dogs are cool too. Past a certain size they can’t invade your lap space.

See, 4 months old and Toby was well on his way to being plain too big. Not a lap invader.

Well, a lap invader but only when I’m on the ground. Not a hindrance to the writing process except for whining, excessive noise, needing to pee, wanting to go outside, etc.

Little dogs are cool too. They’re better at invading space because it’s much harder to deny their size. And who could say no to Benny’s face?

Plus, sweaters. It’s harder to justify putting cats in sweaters.

I mean, most cats don’t wear sweaters.

Right?

Oh wait.

Well, to be fair, she’s only modeling this sweater because I didn’t have the intended canine recipient handy.

Anyway, cats and the writing process. Sometimes things click along just fine. Words are happening, whether through the pen or the keyboard. Writing can be a bit of a lonely endeavor, but it’s hard to feel alone when you’ve got a quiet friend sitting by (on you) exuding cheerful encouragement.

The lap’s not a bad place. I can type or write around Beth in my lap without much trouble. Get into a rhythm and the writing flows. It’s a bit harder when she doesn’t want the lap, or it’s already occupied, or who knows why–she’s a cat. Sometimes banishing tempting her with the bed works. Unless this happens.

Never mind the fact that there are a million bed-like areas in this house, if the immediate bed is occupied and daddy isn’t around to be bothered as an alternative, then oh dear cat there will be no peace. It’s hard to write when this happens…

Or splaying over the keyboard for you first draft typists. This is when cats interfere with the writing process. It happens near daily in this house.

Hope you enjoyed this not-really-a-blog-post where I rambled about animals.