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The past several days were awesome, and very eventful. Friday night/Saturday morning had some spooky cat drama.

First, it started on Friday night while we were watching Steve Gray. The wooden front door was open, and it was dark. I noticed a stray cat on the front porch. Mom went up to it, and it walked off the porch. A short while later, still during Steve Gray, Luna made this weird sound and ran to the other end of the house to hide under my parents' bed. No clue what spooked Luna.

But Timothy and Casper, the other two cats in the living room at the time, were certainly acting like something else was there or going on. Casper also seemed concerned for Luna. Mom took Obie outside so that Obie could investigate. Obie looked around and came back inside.

After Steve Gray, Luna came out from hiding. I noticed Obie sitting on the kitchen bar and staring out the large glass doors. Obie looked at me with this intense glare: "there's something out there!"

Dad and I were awake for some unknown reason around 1:00am or 2:00am. Dad got on the computer, and I rested on the couch with some of the multitude. Then, all of a sudden without warning, there was this loud crash and all the cats scattered. Thinking that one of the kittens had knocked down some furniture, we went into the dining room to check. Everything was in place. When we looked out the sliding glass door, everything was in place there as well.

Dad decided to go back to bed a short time later. Then, there was this even louder crash, which woke Mom up. And we could have sworn the cats had knocked over the trash, but again, everything was in place. This was a really weird and freaky way to start the Saturday. After we started to calm down, mom carried her cat Timothy into the living room, sat on the couch, and said, "Shabbat Shalom!" with ironic amusement because this was not a particularly peaceful but very intriguing way to begin the Saturday. Dad got his flashlight and found a stray cat in the attic.

The actual Saturday went pretty well. I heard a cat meowing from the attic. I figured since a cat got up there, that cat can get down from there, so I did not worry about it. A month or so ago, dad let Obie out, and somehow Obie climbed into the attic from outside and fell into my closet.
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I had a very relaxing weekend Sabbath this past weekend, the 16th and the 17th. I was so excited about finishing this anthology after four years of hard work and of finally moving onto my next major book. The whole week was particularly relaxing because I had no story-writing that needed to be done.

On Saturday, my parents and I went shopping. Normally, we avoid shopping on the Sabbath because it is regular work. In this case, though, this shopping was our service to God. I needed to buy some Christian books - Augustine's Trinity - and a collection of pseudegraphia that I couldn't get at any other time. Also, we went to Mardel's, which is closed on Sundays. At Mardel's, I bought the book "not a fan" by Kyle Idleman, a Johnny Cash CD, as well as a kid's book for my niece Holly and a book by Eusebius.

Mardel's was selling Christian rap up front. Christian rap appears to be very popular or at least definitely acknowledged after Lecrae made some big music hits.

The Barnes&Noble gift card I got for Christmas covers the entire cost of Augustine's Trinity except for tax. The store did not have it, so I ordered it from there. I had planned to use my Visa gift card for the collection of psuedegraphia, but it was too expensive at the store. I ordered it online from Alibris, and it cost $10 or $15 cheaper, even with shipping and handling included. I had been saving that Visa gift card specifically for my pseudegraphia, but now that I haven't been able to use it, it is like I have a free gift card!

On Sunday, we checked out a church in Panhandle. None of us really cared for it. More show and style than substance. Two things I want in a church for me:
1) I want to be able to start a Christian book club because Christians need to reconnect with their heritage, their knowledge, and their understanding.
2) I want to love it so much that I can invite my friends over there.

Overall, though, I was definitely enjoying the weekend with half-shifts in the evening. I was really anticipating when those books arrive. Then, during my work break, I checked my email and read an email by AnnaMaria. She made some really good points that I need to consider, but it means a lot more work on this anthology than I expected. Even so, I'm still going to request Tuesdays and Wednesdays off when my research arrives.
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Last night, I concluded the subplot for #8 yay! All I need to do now is to wait until I get #15 back in the mail.

Until then, and also until I get my research for the next thing big, I'm probably going to tinker with scripture and other story ideas. Because it takes me so long to write a book, I think it's a good thing to have one main story and then another story or two off on the side. There might be anywhere between 50 and 100 pages already written for my next big thing that requires the research. However, because it is all scattered in various documents, I don't know what the exact page count would be.

The critique group sent me a warning that I haven't critiqued anything in a while. If I don't critique, then I might find myself removed. I'm more motivated to critique other stories when I have one of my own up there. I don't have anything to submit just yet.
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The time changes today. Time has become such an artificial concept. Such as spring and winter. For me, winter started when the schools closed for the holiday. Spring started when the schools reopened. And then, there are people who say "Monday is my Friday," meaning that they are off Monday or that Monday begins their day off. Why can't they just say "I'm off on Monday"? Why must they refer to it being another day of the week?

Things are starting to wind down and to feel less busy now that 13 of my 15 novellas are complete. I hope this means I can have more social time until I start my next major project. I've thought of going ahead and requesting certain days for my research, but I'll wait until I get a few other books first that I really need. I might have a month or so between major projects. I might tinker with some fanfics, but that's very tentative since I have more original story ideas besides these projects. Since it takes me so long to complete a book, the more original ideas I keep going, the quicker I can finish one.
Then, I will need to start searching for a literary agent who will help me to find a publisher.

Mom did a little shopping after work yesterday - went to a dollar store. Among other things, she purchased a solitary cat toy. Buddy grabbed it while still in the cardboard, and he marched throughout the house with it, growling the entire time. Fudge and Casper followed behind him. That went on for about 15 minutes. Then, he tried to put it in one of the food dishes, but it was too big plus still in the cardboard. Buddy leaned it up against the food dish. Fudge grabbed it and began his own march. Casper followed, but Fudge kept hissing at him. Dad kept chiding mom for buying only one cat toy when we have six cats now. During dinner, Fudge kept tossing the toy in the air and running for it. After dinner, mom finally cut off the cardboard. Dad went back to Amarillo this morning to buy more cat toys.
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A blizzard came across the texas panhandle Sunday night/Monday morning. I got off work at 3:00pm. Then, we were busy preparing for the blizzard. Mom and I gathered lots of kindling to maintain the fire indefinitely. There were warnings of possible power outages, so mom filled up pitchers of water. Dad came home around 5:30 or 6 from all the wood chipping sites. As soon as he came home, he immediately started cutting wood while mom and I stacked it up. Then, we went to Walmart to pick up a few extra things - cat food, snacks for us and bottled water in case of a power outage, etc.

By early Monday morning, the blizzard had shut down the city. All the roads and the interstate highways were closed. Mom's work had closed down, so she stayed home. Dad wanted to take me to work, but around noon, he decided I should stay home because he would have to dig the truck out of the driveway. Plus, it was still snowing, so he would have to dig the truck back into the driveway.

Walmart in town closed down for the day because too few employees showed up for work. The blizzard lasted all Monday. Tuesday was pretty much the same. Even though it stopped snowing, the city and town remained closed due to the weather. Mom stayed home again, but dad was able to go to work tonight. I was scheduled off anyway. The snow was piled four feet high on the roads, and the clean-up crews had a busy day.
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Mega-madness at work yesterday as people fled to Wal-Mart to stock up in preparation for the blizzard. And the snows are still pouring down. A very thick snow, we have. Thank God that we have plenty of firewood. Work was so crowded that all levels of management were at the registers. When I was assigned to work self-check, two of the registers had paper problems. I'm not that familiar with self-check, so I didn't know how to resolve it. I took care of purchases at the self-check register podium. Then, Sarah came and resolved the problem before she relieved me for my last break. After work, I gathered kindling from the driveway, filled the top of the woodbox, and brought inside a couple logs. The snows came during the night.

As for what else is going on... #10, I'm currently on page 36 of 38. I need to add another page or two for battle scenes in #10. It was originally 31 pages, and now there is a page 36. The majority of revisions for the whole anthology will be family scenes.

I noticed at work the new Robert Jordon book in the Wheel of Time series. I read the back of it, so what I say is not spoilers for anyone. I'm really intrigued that the hero who's supposed to save the world is turning insane and might become the villain instead. That really does have an intriguing appeal. It's just... the series is currently 14 books long! And it's been going on for twenty years! And the author Robert Jordon died without finishing it! Instead, Sanderson is completing it based on his notes and leftover material.
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Well, some good news. I finally finished my anthology! It took a couple years longer than expected. Now, I'm just chilling out for the week. I might take two books to read during my lunch break.

On Monday, I had a late shift, so I came home around 11:00PM. I ate warmed up dinner and then started a load of laundry, which I put in the dryer when I woke up that morning. I was going to put it in the dryer an hour earlier that, but Casper my new kitten went to sleep in the basket of plastic bags, which is atop the dryer. I waited until he woke up and got down. I bought my Sunday newspaper on Monday for the coupons. I went through it this morning and took out the coupons. Later this evening, Casper and I will clip them out. Casper loves clipping coupons.

Books I'm currently reading:
Sphere by Michael Crichton
The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes
The Mangy Parrot by Jose Fernando de Lizardi

I'm a bit disappointed in Seven Daughter of Eve. I admit the title appealed to me, which is why I bought it. This book is supposed to be about genetics and how through mitochondrial DNA, we can study and discover the migration routes of humans out of Africa. However, the book is not about migration routes through DNA analysis. The book is the story of his research, but is not the actual research itself. I know plenty about Bryan Sykes and his experiences, but nothing about human history!
On page 185, he writes, "The story I have narrated in this book is a history of the world recorded in the gene that is the easiest to read, mitochondrial DNA." No, it's not! It is all the story of Bryan Sykes, not the story of humanity! And it took him 185 pages to reach the story of humanity! And the book only has 297 pages.

I would love to read the history of humanity and human migrations out of Africa, how we populated the world and so forth.
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What happened in Newton, CT is deeply tragic. I'm sure a lot of those kids already had Christmas presents waiting for them. And this happened on a friday, the best day out of every kid's week.
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It is kinda funny the days when I enjoy work and when I really don't want to work. I was perfectly fine working long days on Thursday and Friday, but yesterday, I absolutely wanted to be home despite the short shift. I really hated being at work yesterday. I could blame it on customers, but the bad ones came near the end while I wanted to leave from the beginning.

But as for the bad customers... near the end, there was a girl roughly four or five years old. This girl began screaming and jumping in the cart when I took two of her little books to scan the prices. This girl was literally throwing a hissy fit. After the register recorded the prices, the parents told me to hand the girl the books, so I did. The girl grabbed the books and said, still shrill from her tantrum, "Thank you!"
And during all this and after all this, the parents were telling you, "girl, you're crazy" as though it was the cutest and strangest thing they saw. It was actually a hideous and nasty sight. The kid acted like a spoiled, selfish brat who needed severe discipline.
I kept thinking, "that kid is going to have trouble later in life, and her selfishness will certainly cause trouble for others if she continues to trantrum to get what she wants."
This is just another example of how parents don't raise their kids like they used to. Parents encourage selfishness and narcissism. Perhaps, this is what happens when people forget that everyone is born with a sin nature.
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I worked on Black Friday. Suprisingly calm and quiet. I think all the madness happened overnight, so I missed it. Very fortunate there. Last year, there was a long line at the check-out counter of people waiting for the sales to start. One of the lower level managers had to direct actual customers to my register so that they could check out before the sales.

Dad needs to cut more wood. Basically, we have a lot of big stuff, but not enough of the little pieces to keep it going. Luna seems cold.

I'm still trying to figure out how to organize my bedroom. Boxes continue to fill my bedroom, although I went through my stuff again and removed one box. Basically, I don't know where to put all the stuff. I know that I want my Ronin Warrior toys out to see. And I suppose what makes it seem a big bizarre is that I began cleaning my bedroom with the intent of buying considerably more stuff. But what I want to buy is important research for my next book. I do have some items for my research that I haven't gone through yet, but I know I need quite a lot more.

I want to think of new ways to decorate the house for Christmas. All I can think of is the nativity scene.
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