If We Were Having Coffee on the 9th of January, 2021

Hello and Welcome! Come on over and I’ll get you a nice large mug of super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea, some hot cocoa or other warm beverage. We’ll be sitting outside, where it is a little chilly, but the sun feels great and there is no wind in my back yard, so it is refreshing! Where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.

Monday was my first day back to work since the 23rd of December. It was pretty tough to get inspired! Monday wasn’t as bad as expected, but the week did get busier as it went on. I have several very large projects in process and they have all started to roll along again.

I sent my latest draft of The Old Mill to two people for editing and received both of them back around the new year. I went through the short one first. This had a couple of dozen of small corrections but several large suggestions. After the corrections, I did a few larger scale changes. I hate doing these large scale changes this late in the game, but… I have started going through the second, much longer set of corrections. Hopefully I’ll be done by this time next week. I’ll do one more editing run on my own, then it will be time to start formatting and such. Ugh. I’ve said this many times, but I’ll repeat: The rough draft is the easy part. The rough draft for The Old Mill was about 80,000 words, yet it was about 5% of the total work so far. I wrote it in less than a month. I have spent about two years drafting and editing. (yes, I’m a math nerd – 1 month of 20 months equals 5% ;) ).

I wrote and posted a 4750 word story this week. Yeah, I typically don’t post things this long, but what the heck. And yes, I wrote it out in an evening. As I said, writing rough drafts is super easy.

I have been studying math and science this week. I finished my on-line course on Number Theory, but am reading a college text book on it and doing the problems. Number Theory is abstract, but in many ways super simple – I have been doing most of the exercises in my head and so far have 100% correct. Not sure if I’ll still be able to do that when I work my way up to Differential Equations ;) Possible – I could when I was in college.

I’ve been practicing my music a little, but not as much as I’d like.

I also haven’t been exercising as much as I’d like, though I got one good run in this week. I also had one good session on the row machine and was able to complete my weight training once. Not good, but at least I was able to do it despite dogs whining at me.

Thinking of dogs, there was a lot of dog play and dog walks.

This was also a pretty stressful week for most of us Americans. I am still hoping for a bright 2021, it just may take a while to turn the corner.

Anyway, I need to get up and moving again! Thanks for stopping by! If you have a coffee share, I will try to visit.

Last week was the final week for Alli at Eclectic Alli. to host the Weekend Coffee Share. This week Natalie at Natalie the Explorer has taken over. Thank you Alli for doing it and to Natalie for taking it over! This week’s share is here and the linkup is here.

49 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee on the 9th of January, 2021

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I did see a few funny memes about 2021 after that, like wanting to cancel the subscription to 2021 after the 7 day trial. It has been hard. I want to write something meaningful, but I have no idea where to start.

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  1. Antoinette Truglio Martin

    Number Theory and Differential Equation, yeah, you are a math nerd. I’m lucky I can understand 3rd grade math, sort of. Congrats on the final stretch of getting the book out. The problem i find with editing and editing and rewriting and editing is that the story grows stale, I get a bit synical and just want to move onto the next project. Hang in. It will get done.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I’m more of a math nerd than most – I have a Mathematics degree, I just never used it. Thanks, re editing. Yes, this book has been the worst one yet as far as it growing stale – I wrote the rough draft in the winter of 2017. In the spring of 2019 I knew for sure I’d be ready by November 2019. It’s been painful, but it is almost done!

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  2. bearmkwa

    Yes, a stressful week in America, indeed. Number Theory.. hmm, that’s interesting. It’s odd the way my brain injury worked… I can still do Calculus, and high level math, but I get stumped on subtracting something from zero… my mind just can’t seem to grasp it and I usually give up and grab a calculator. I can do it… but, it will take hours and hours for me to subtract 99 from 100, if I don’t use the calc. Yet, I’ve been playing with the astronomical equations in one of Hubby’s astronomy books (tells you how bored stiff I am).. an equation of Time… yep, totally bored. Anyway, I hope work gets better for you. Have a safe and pleasant week. Shalom, Bear

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Wow, that is odd. And, yep, that would preclude Number Theory! It’s all pretty much simple arithmetic but using abstract ideas.
      lol, what you do from boredom is what I am doing for fun ;) Truthfully, I studied this all in school (I went to Ohio State), but that was a long time ago. Recently I have been fascinated by Astrophysics, but I want to study it at the level where you need all of those equations in your Hubby’s book. So I am back studying math and basic physics so I can understand the advanced stuff once I get there.
      I hope you had a good weekend and have a safe, healthy and good week ahead.

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      1. bearmkwa

        It is weird, for sure. I used to spend untold hours with astrophysics, and aerodynamics. I used to do that level of math just for fun. I filled chalkboard with it in high school. I used to design aircraft that were capable of in atmosphere and beyond atmosphere travel. I was doing that when the high school guidance counselor was saying I wasn’t capable of even attending college. I had a very high IQ, but lived with very very few monetaries. I often wonder what I could have been if I’d had the opportunity to go to OSU or such a university instead of only a tiny community college for a subject that was much less than I could have been. Now, in the area we live it’s impossible to find anything “intelligent” in the libraries… Everything geared for children. It’s very frustrating. We go to Ohio often just to find reading materials.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I’m sure it is frustrating. It is a huge problem with the inequalities in our society. These days a lot of colleges and universities try to push the income based help farther than they used to, but it still isn’t enough for a lot of people. Having people like you fall through the cracks is bad for society at large, not just the individual.

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  3. Corina

    Stressful is one way to but this past week. Wow. It was so strange to wake up to the news that the Capitol had been taken over and our legislators were hiding for their safety. I think we knew something like this was coming but it was still so very surreal to have it come to be.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      “Stressful” is a bit of an understatement. I most likely will have a post more directly about it, but wanted the coffee post to be a bit more positive… It was, and still is, scary, but, unfortunately, not unexpected. I was really hoping it wouldn’t happen, and I still hope it doesn’t get worse.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Much respect – that is not something I would want to do! But, I guess I have to since my publisher is me ;)
      Agreed, we do need to break the chains of white supremacy. It won’t be easy.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Gary A Wilson

    Yes – we are back at work again. I don’t have what I would characterize as huge projects, just one large, but almost perfunctory one which needs little prep before hand, but what I do have is several smaller ones that seem to be deeply stuck in dried mud. These are just plain frustrating to deal with.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Actually, my biggest project is only six months over due… Oh well, it was a huge lift and I only have one engineer working on it when it should be a large team. So, yeah, I get those frustrations… Hope you are having a good weekend. I’ll be by in a few to see.

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  5. dprastka

    Thank you for the coffee and you are so lucky you get to work from home, and have been before Covid. 😉 We’ve been short handed at work from either employees being near a positive person, or they are sick so my hours have changed a bit while we fill in for absenteeism. The lab, per state protocols had us all tested and mine came back negative and I’m thankful. Trying to stay safe, keep working, and staying busy with my horses. I am happy you are getting your writing project closer to completion! Exciting! Stay safe, and enjoy your weekend! 🤠

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I do feel lucky that I can telework full time. For me, it almost doesn’t make sense to go into the office since I don’t work with anyone within 500 miles of here (OK, maybe 300 ;) ). I’m sure it is tough to work in those conditions were you have to be there, fully staffed, etc. and yet have to stay safe and healthy. Hopefully there will be some relief soon as the vaccine starts to get farther distributed and more people get it, though I know it is two doses spread apart. Anyway, stay safe, take breaks with your horses and stay healthy! Hope you had a good weekend and have a wonderful week ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Denyse Whelan Blogs

    Good luck with the changes you are making on your work. I have to say we here in Australia are collectively holding our breath for a smooth transition from DT in charge (!?) to Joe Biden, but of course, having witnessed via TV the awfulness in DC….we can only hope one day commonsense and a level head will prevail.
    Thinking of you all.
    Denyse

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. Yes, it is scary times. I am afraid of what might come next, but I think we will get past it. I just don’t understand why so many people are so mesmerized by that guy. There are more sane people over here, but… Anyway, fingers crossed.

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  7. Shannon

    I feel you on the editing! My first draft takes about 1/6 of the time that editing does! Not quite your stats, but if I played too close attention to the actual amount, my motivation would take a serious hit!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      lol, I get it about the motivation end! I had hoped to put this one out at the end of 2019! But I kept getting bogged down in it. Of course they are all different and The Old Mill has been difficult…

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  8. workinacresnothours

    Congrates on continuing to move forward with your book, I meant to mention on your last blog that I read all your stories on your blog their a fantastic read. At least you got a little exercise but it sounded like your brain work out made up for the lack of physical exercise really. Have a fantastic rest of weekend.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! I did get a lot of mental exercise done, which is great, but in the long term, the more physical exercise I get, the sharper I feel and the more I can get done in all parts of my life :) I hope you are having a great weekend and have a wonderful week ahead.

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  9. Natalie

    Trent, I hope the good coffee helped with your first day back at work after the holidays. Well done with your writing accomplishments and other activities in addition to your day job. Thank you for carving out time to join in this Weekend Coffee Share, too. I greatly appreciate it. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Natalie. the good ultra-strong dark roast did help my return to work… I try to keep busy, though I have peaks and valleys. Since I am at a peak, I am pushing it for all it is worth :) Thanks for stopping by! Hope your weekend is going well.

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  10. Marilyn Armstrong

    Calling it a busy week is the nicest way I’ve heard it put. Well, the 1960s really started around 1965 and ended about 1973, so let’s just think of this as a delayed response. Lag time. I keep thinking it really HAS to get better. We deserve better.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Well, I did say it was a stressful week as well a busy week… Even though I was less than a month old at the time, I think of the 60s starting when JFK was shot, or, perhaps, in February ’64 when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, but still, point taken that there is always a lag time. It does have to get better, and hopefully it will, though I still think there may be dark days ahead as we change momentum. I don’t think ’21 will be stellar, by any stretch of imagination, but I do think it will be the year when the momentum starts moving us in the right direction.

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  11. Writing Sparkle

    The first day back to work after a nice break is so challenging, but with several large projects on the go it shouldn’t be to hard to transition back into the grind.

    It is interesting to read about your draft of “The Old Mill” and your writing process there. I am just on the beginning of my first draft journey with all the rest over the horizon. The Hemingway quote, “write drunk, edit sober” came to mind as I was reading.

    Thanks for the virtual coffee. Hope you have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      One of the good things about this break is that everyone else was having a hard time transitioning back into work, so there was less pressure. It is really awful when people have been piling stuff up, waiting for my return…

      Every book is different and every one takes it’s own shape, but I think it is best to just get that rough draft out of the way as quick as possible. Even the big names say the rough draft is supposed to be awful, and I am guessing Hemingway included.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope your weekend is going well and that you have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

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    2. Gary A Wilson

      Speaking as a long time Hemmingway fan, I did try his idea of writing drunk just once. I had just turned 21 and thought, why not. Well, the best thing about that experience is that I only tried it once and then, when I could claim I was young and stupid, because the writing itself – ooo – it was awful and was DOA the next morning when I tried to salvage some of it by editing, but no joy. The whole thing got a delete mark and discarded before anyone could accidentally see it.

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      1. trentpmcd Post author

        lol, as a college student I discovered that despite what a lot of creative people in the past have said, altered states of mind usually do awful things to creativity ;) On a rare occasion I will write with a glass of beer or wine, but if I have two (very, very rare), I don’t even try any more.

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  12. robbiesinspiration

    I loved your short story, Trent. I was thinking about it again today, it really captured my imagination. Sounds like a reasonable week. I went back to work on Thursday, but it was fairly quiet. Most people are only starting back on Monday in South Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Robbie. High praise that you continued to think about it. It was a pretty good week for me over all, despite all that is going on in the world, and, of course, in my country. I would have loved to have been able to have another week off, and start this coming Monday, but I know it would have been super difficult! I hope you have a wonderful week ahead :)

      Liked by 1 person

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  13. Sagittarius Viking

    You sound like me when it comes to writing, writing is easy and fast, and fun, but editing…never been my strong side. Maybe that is why I stick with my blog? I do proof read every post a couple times, but no real editing, and I am sure there is a lot of incorrect grammar and all sort of things, BUT I have fun. Writing is like therapy.
    Despite craziness going on, your week sounds pretty good. Have a great weekend, and a fabulous new week.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Even with my fiction, I don’t sweat editing much when I post on my bog. Prepping for publication? Much, much harder… That being said, the more I do, the better I get.
      Despite all of the craziness, yes, a pretty good week. i am worried that what we saw may just be the beginning, yet I still am full of optimism :)
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a wonderful week ahead!

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  14. Prior...

    Hi Trent
    I loved your math calculations about the old mill writing
    And of course it is different for every book – right!m? I have a few books sitting at 80% done! That is a tease
    Oh and Liz Gaffeau once mentioned that not all of her drafts led to viable bold (something like that) and so congrats on having this baby grow and turn into a real work !!
    ;)
    And small
    Black cup of coffee for me please ☕️

    Glad
    Your other projects are unfolding and think many of us need to get exercise routines adjusted again –
    I know I do

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Y. Every book is different, and I think I am improving quite a bit as I go and learn more. This book, The Old Mill, has been a tease, and a thorn in the side, for a long time! I actually wrote it during the winter and spring of 2017. There were times I wasn’t sure if I could shape it into something viable…

      We all do need to take care of ourselves on many different levels. For me, when I don;t exercise regularly, my blood pressure goes up. And exercise does make me feel better not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. And, of course, the more I “study”, the sharper I feel and the more I get done in other aspects of life, including the physical exercise :)

      I hope you have a great weekend!

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  15. Dale

    Good luck with the editing. I have a few writer friends and it is not the most fun part of writing, is it?
    I have been working from home since December 17th. We were supposed to return on the 11th of January but our government has asked all office personnel to extend it until Feb. 8th. Ugh. I am not well set up to work form home so have to figure something out before I put my back out!
    Speaking of which… shall be off to take in the rays and crisp air. Thanks for the coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Dale. In ways I do hate editing, but I like the results. Ironically, I started teleworking full time at the end of 2019, so I was used to it when everyone had to start. I do have a little spot carved out for it, and so it works well for me. I know it isn’t as easy for a lot of people.
      I hope you enjoy the rays and crisp air! I’ve been out most of the day and most likely will make it outside again before too long… Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Dale

        Of course, once at the editing stage, you are moving forward and I should hope you like the results!
        Yeah. Lots of people have created their space. I have to figure out just how to go about it.
        I am off, camera at the ready!
        Thank you and have a great week yourself!

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