Bust a move

So, in my previous entry on moving I forgot to mention that in every move something crucial must get lost and/or broken or the gods of moving will make you pay for the omission of sacrifice. In our case, we were forced to sacrifice internet for a ridiculously long time (because the cable company neglected to tell us that while we were technically in their service area, getting service would mean trenching cable through yards and around utilities and when we went to DSL which had been previously at the house they lost our order for service) and then there was the broken hot water heater and the flood.

In the middle of this great friends came to visit who put up with the chaos, the boxes, and bathroom roulette and did a lot to relieve the stress of it all.

What have we learned from this? The gods of moving must always be appeased, friends are awesome, and every plan, however excellent and thorough and well thought out, will fail as soon as it meets reality. This is good to remember in life, in moving, and in writing because we cannot anticipate everything and therefore we must lean on our innate talent as living beings and adapt.

And now I shall adapt by eating lots of chocolate because my nerves are still frazzled and I have this space opera to finish and turn in on time.


Shiloh Walker tagged me, so here goes, from page 77 of Red Queen:

Speak. Now. But I was so tired, so spent. My brain felt more wolf than human and I struggled to
string together the right words. “The snark is a boojum,” I managed to wheeze

“Christ, she’s delirious.” That was David, reaching to take my hand. Zach raised his
head and bared his teeth, a low growl emanating from him. David froze. Everybody froze.

Then Jack said, “No. Not delirious. That’s a warning. She’s warning us.”

“What the hell is a snark?”

I closed my eyes and tried not to cry. I couldn’t explain. I didn’t have the words and I
was so tired.

“It’s a poem.” That was Jack again, his voice level and firm. “The Hunting of the Snark. But at the
end, the hunters become the hunted because the snark is a boojum. She’s warning us not to hunt. Things aren’t what they seem.”

And now all the tagged shall plot revenge, oh yes.

How to move and new sales news

First the rah rah new sales part: I’ve been asked to contribute to two upcoming Mammoth Book anthologies! The first is Futuristic, the second Paranormal. Since I just happened to have a space opera idea I’d been sitting on along with a great idea for the theme in the second, I jumped up and down and said yes yes yes. Titles, release dates, and so on TBA. Like the other Mammoth anthologies these will release in the US and UK.

On top of this we’re moving because there are now five of us in a tiny house and the list of ways that’s not working any more is too long to go into. Needless to say we knew the change was going to have to happen and we planned our lease to end about the time we’d be ready to deal with it, and that time is at hand. Somebody joked that I should tell people how to move, and when I went “haha” I got back, “No, really. Share.” So here you go, how to move.

First of all, I am using
to organize the move with checklists and to dos and important move-related information such as the kids’ new bus route, new trash pickup day/time, and so on. Using Trello means I can share all of this with my husband and we can both add items, cross off to dos as we finish, and we also get to watch the progress bar of the % done fill in as a nice visual reminder that we’re on schedule. If you don’t use Trello, use some way to keep your to do list and important information in one place; a notebook will do.

The to do list might look something like this: get boxes and packing supplies, get change of address packet from post office, notify utility companies of date of service end at old location and start at new service location, arrange for moving help, rent a Uhaul, pack, move, do final cleaning of house. Whatever tasks are related to the move go here. Writing it down helps prevent anything important from getting overlooked or forgotten.

Home Depot is our go to source for packing supplies. The book boxes especially are a bargain, and we used about 40 of them. (Yes, we have way too many books.) You can often get free boxes from local businesses but that leaves you dependent on the type and availability and cleanliness of the freebies. You can also source used boxes on Freecycle or Craig’s List, but for cheap clean availability you really can’t beat Home Depot. (I have to add that given the resurgence of bed bugs in most cities, reusing a stranger’s boxes is maybe not the best choice for economy in the long run.)

If your move is local, decide if you’ll do it yourself, hire movers, or use a combination of rental equipment, your own labor and some hired muscle. This is not a decision to leave to the last minute as rental equipment, movers, and hired muscle may be booked well in advance. If you hire movers, go with the big guys and save yourself a world of trouble. If Cut Rate Movers are half the price, there is a reason for that and you get what you pay for.

Once that’s all dealt with, start packing. Give yourself plenty of time so it’s not a nightmare on the last day. I’ve been systematically packing cupboards and closets, boxing up seldom-used items and leaving only the last minute things to the actual last minute. Pack like things together, label each box with a Sharpie so you know what’s in there when it’s time to unpack, use packing paper and bubble wrap for fragile items, ziplock bags for liquids that could spill. It helps to mark each box with what room it goes to along with the contents, i.e., “linen closet, spare bedding”, “garage, bicycle gear”.

For the truly organized, measure the rooms and your furniture and plan the layout in advance so moving is a simple matter of putting the pieces where they belong instead of trying to figure out where the couch goes while two people struggle to hold up the ends.

And all of this is really not unlike writing a book or a story for an anthology. Planning and organization and starting early so you can stay on schedule no matter what goes wrong will all go a long way to ensuring success and saving your sanity.