• Screw Cabin Fever

    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    Hello, all.

    So uh… it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

    I will say this: living in a desert-only community than a coastal/desert community is a big difference. One I had to adjust to very slowly.

    Since I last spoke, the heat became bearable, but I became an A/C hermit for the rest of the summer. Yoga and meditation kept my sanity in check. I pushed out chapters, but the lifestyle change held my writer’s block high.

    I spent like ten to fifteen minutes a day in 100 to 110F heat (high 80s or low 90s during the night) just for going from house to car, car to grocery store or drive-thru, car to the coffee shop or cafe, and car to yoga studio. Any movement I made while the A/C stayed at 78F made me sweat. The summer months are also the monsoon months here. There will be like a day or two of rain and thunderstorms, which I loved, and enjoyed the ten-degree drop and moisture and lightning in the distance, but was aware of the floods. It’s all bare bedrock here so water doesn’t soak into the ground. All of it turns into raging rivers in certain places, which flood channels around the valley to control and collect the water.

    It’s also known that Lake Mead’s water level is dropping. That’s worrisome for me when I visualize mass migrations when the Colorado River fully dries up and puts six states in jeopardy. Las Vegas has the most advanced water retention programs in the U.S., but I still have deep seeded doubts. I lived in Big Bear. Seeing the lake dry up isn’t easy to forget.

    Not visiting the Las Vegas Strip a lot is okay with me. I think I did three or four drives just to see what’s changed, which is not much from my usual haunts. The Pinball Hall of Fame moved next to the airport and the Las Vegas sign. A rooftop brewery is opening across the Park MGM. A lot of concrete guard rails on the sidewalks. One or two new hotels I don’t see myself visiting. How much they charge parking, especially for Nevada residents, still turns me off from walking from Mandalay Bay to the Wynn in the cold after New Years. Plus years living in the hospitality business made me…spoiled, but not in a splurge kind. Just an “I’ve seen it” kind of spoiled.

    With that, I picked my usual haunts. I visit Boulder City every weekend or a day off early morning to sit and read or write at a coffee shop/bookstore, then later have breakfast at a famous cafe down the street. I visit one coffee shop in Henderson occasionally, filled with nerd memorabilia. I’m a Trader Joe’s fan now, going for some groceries and during my lunch break. I sometimes visit The Writer’s Block bookstore in North Las Vegas (I never EVER visit North Las Vegas unless it’s something very important.) I visit three restaurants every week, for having a margarita or a hearty breakfast. Seriously, I think I drank more margaritas here than ever before moving here. I found a great yoga studio ten minutes from the house, but it’s still shocking that most studios here offer hot yoga. During the summer. :/

    Now, what I was very psyched about was the weather change. Heavy winds happened in late October and all that heat just disappeared in two days. Thirty to forty-degree drop. People were telling me to understand the change, but really, I know what 40 and 50F temps felt like. I’ve visited Alaska and grew up in mountain winters. I’m built for cold weather.

    Mt. Charleston and Zion National Park are the closest camping places to visit, but I’ve yet to pick and weekend for that, not to mention go out for a hike. I’ve noticed the mountain just got snow.

    I have more stuff to say but I’ll save that when I can share it.

    As for writing, yeah, writer’s block is still high. Haven’t written much since I’ve been so busy with work. One thing after another to keep tabs on. And YouTube and social media getting worse. Twitter’s umpteenth midlife crisis and DA’s art AI screw-up is make me develop more trust issues. Just started poking around and reviewing Mastodon but haven’t pulled the trigger to use it. I’ll have to talk about that in the future. Not sure when, though.


  • Mana Pool – The Ghost Factor – Chapter 7

    New chapter is now available. Click the link below.


  • Mana Pool – The Ghost Factor – Chapter 6 (Updated)

    Just a quick update for all of you, I’ve added a third scene to Chapter 6. This scene has been in development hell for a decade, right when this book was being outlined, among other things, and countless drafts. It’s a small bit of what I have wanted to share for a long time. One day I’ll talk about the over-arching narrative with this reveal, but not right now.

    Go check it out. Now.

    I’m taking a week off from the novel before I work on the next chapter. I have to take a wider stance on my habits and motivation before I dive back in.


  • Recovering From Craziness

    Photo by Marcelo Chagas on Pexels.com

    Hello, all. A new chapter in my life, it seems. I chose a new theme with the new “full-site edit” direction WordPress is taking. Not sure how I feel about it. So many chances to change and fix things. I added links for Ghost Factor on this page and cleaned some words in other pages, but nothing significant yet.

    Basically, again, my mind has been burned. Big time.

    For starters, the move. Ho boy.

    Last March, I got the notice from the office the apartment lease was up for renewal. This was unexpected because I never knew when it was coming up (the last day was today). Later I asked my former roommate what she was thinking, and she decided to not renew the lease.

    That put me in a week-long anxiety attack, panic searching for a new home. The cheapest apartment. An available room-for-rent. However, it came at the worst time when rent rates have jumped 3x than normal, houses were being bought in cash, and all cheap apartments were all rented out. Rent assistance was out of the question.

    Amongst that, before my mom went to Alaska for a manager job for the tourist season, she put out feelers on Facebook. One person offered a room for rent. This person is an old family friend back in the Big Bear years working for my parent’s B&B. She’s practically family. It was an option but I wanted to search a little more and see if I could stay in California a little longer.

    The room is in Henderson, NV. Southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. If you ever went to Las Vegas in the middle of the summer, you know what I felt because man, the weather is no joke.

    Spent two more weeks searching through Facebook, Twitter, Craiglist, and one sketchy roommate service; no favorable prospects. Nobody I was speaking to I was jiving with. Around the beginning of May, I called it and chose to move to Henderson in mid-June. Note that from that anxiety trip, I didn’t eat well and lost four pounds. Thank goodness my WFH job can let me move out of state.

    And so, for two months up to the move, I consolidated my possessions, packed a 5’ x 5’ storage until of unimportant items (my entire library in six boxes cries), pulled my lower back getting those books packed, packed my Prius Prime to the brim with the necessities, drove through the desert, unpacked my stuff in the room, and just passed out from exhaustion.

    It was 111 degrees Fahrenheit outside when I parked the car at the house. Sweats-ville. It will fluctuate between 95 to 110 for the rest of the summer until after Columbus Day. Sometimes I heard it gets to 120.

    Waking up with a dry throat for the first two weeks was no fun. I’m used to it now, along with copious amounts of drinking water. Yet with the recent federal warning water restrictions will hit several states using the Colorado River, I stopped having reading baths.

    That set aside, the writing bit.

    Expect to see an added scene to Ghost Factor Chapter 6 in the next couple of weeks. I’ll share later when Chapter 7 will come out. The day job is still the same, but I now have a dedicated writing spot at a nerdy coffee shop after work. A lot of art, a plush chair with an ottoman, and enough chai lattes to relax with.

    But will the words flow in the hot desert climate? I’ll see what happens.