Credit Torley – CC-BY-SA

I’ve completed the first pass at this novel. Now I’ll spend the rest of the month proofreading and editing it. It came in very close to the size I was aiming for and I found that to be a comfortable word count. Once I’ve got it polished, then I’ll create the ePub and make the recording. We reached this stage later than I hoped we might. I was hoping for a longer time to do the polishing and publishing, leaving me a nice rest period before starting the next one. Life happened, though, and here we are, doing it at full speed instead of at the nice relaxed pace I was looking forward to.

Mustn’t complain. Coulda been worse, right?


I saw this as I was watching the news. It was the little bit of text that sits at the bottom of the screen and tells you what the story is about. In this case it was about the number of wildfires burning in our jurisdiction as we entered summer and the heart of wildfire season.

I can understand why someone would like to use a plus sign to show that they’re talking about a number greater than the one shown. You pick a round number to show where you are, then use the plus sign to indicate that the real number is between the one shown and the next higher round number. It’s also useful when one doesn’t want to put in an exact number for whatever reason. The plus sign is handy when you don’t want to say “more than.” When you’re texting on your phone, who wants to type “more than” when they can simply hit the plus sign? From there it slipped into speech as well.

The reason this caught my eye is the redundancy. It is essentially saying, “More than more than 170.” Why would anyone say that?


What a relief. We had some nice rain and cooler temperatures. We’re looking at a stretch of mid-twenties and mostly sunny. We can stand the sunshine when it’s not burning everything to a crisp. Speaking of burning, some of the wildfires are getting re-classified as “held.” That’s a nice change from “out of control.” As you can see in the photo, the wildfire smoke has dissipated, Maybe now the people who have been fighting the fires non-stop will be able to get a break. When it’s like this, this is my favorite time of the year.


I’m used to the smoke obscuring the sky and turning the sun into a ruby. I’m used to it being so thick that I can’t see the sides of my valley. But these last couple of days the smoke has been so thick that it’s hazy at the bottom of my yard. It hovers over the river like a morning mist.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had a nice cool spell and a little rain. It calmed the fires, which are all around us, gave some relief to the gasping vegetation and washed the smoke out of the air. It was a nice respite, but it didn’t last. The drought is still on, the temperature has gone back up and the smoke has again filled the air.

I have fond memories of opening the windows overnight to flush the house with a cool breeze. Now we’re reluctant to let in the smoke-laden air.

I’m looking forward to autumn.


EDIT: The drought level has been raised to 4 in my area. That’s on a scale of 5, where 5 is the worst. This means strict water restrictions, but without severe, punitive regulatory action.