What's on my mind


I am alone this week. Lady Steed and I drove back to the Bay Area Friday night because her great-grandmother passed away on Thursday. The funeral was Saturday.

This has been hard on Lady Steed. She spent summers with her great-grandmother as a child and visiting grandma has always been a huge priority for her.

Since the Big O was conceived, we have last all of Lynsey's relatives older than her father and two of my grandparents as well. If you include in utero attendance, the Big O has been to as many funerals in his brief life as I have in mine.

After the funeral and partial recovery from long bouts of weeping, Lady Steed told me that what was hardest was knowing that someone who loved her was gone.

She as always happy to see me, even if she was mad at me for something, she was always happy to see me.

The Clan of the Brass Field (Lady Steed's family) has been dreading this because there is some money -- quite a bit -- that must now be distributed among the survivors and Lady's Steed's crazy aunt is in charge.

I don't want to get into this. It's not as ugly yet as was anticipated, but court is hanging out in the back of everyone's skull.

Anyway, I'm now back in Tehachapi all by myself, and besides the general disconnect with reality I always have whenever Lady Steed is gone, some other things are on my mind:

1. New Orleans.

Looks like they're gonna survive which I am glad of, of course, although part of me wanted to experience history. And last night it really looked like we might be seeing the effectual end of a unique piece of America.

2. Gas prices.

Also thanks to Katrina, it looks like it will be impossible to buy gas for less than $3 by the end of next week anywhere in this country.

3. Time management.

Lady Steed's absence always means that I can be a bit more productive in other areas of my life -- after all, I'm not wasting all that time being a good husband. I most want to finish repackaging my book proposal and send it off before midSeptember.

For those who don't know the story, Sept. 2003 I sent a novel proposal to a certain publishing company. The head editor there had previously told me that she wanted to see a novel from me. I was happy to oblige

Over the next year, while I waited for a reply, I finished writing the novel.

Then, in Sept. 2004, she requeted the complete version, read it, then said, um, great book, I don't get it, it's weird, but you're a fine writer. She said she figured that only young men would like it and they don't buy books and so I was instructed to get reviews from folks who are a) female, b) not related to me, and c) don't owe me any money.

(Incidentally, anyone who meets those criteria and would like to offer a review in the next couple weeks are certainly welcome to. Let me know and I can email a copy. If you reqest but do not reply I promise to understand and not hate you forever.)

I have since gathered said reviews and am now making Byuck: The Proposal v. 2.0.

4. Time management, part ii.

I also have some movies I've been wanting to watch but which Lady Steed doesn't have much interest in.

But no! I must focus! Proposal first!

5. Food.

Last Valentine's Day, Lady Steed and I were part of a Newlywed Show-type game at our ward's party for grownups.

We scored on the question: When you're not home, what will your husband likely fix himself to eat?

Lady Steed properly predicted my response:


She'll be harassing me everytime she calls, asking whether I'm eating. I've already missed breakfast and have other plans for my lunch hour, so I may be in trouble.

But here's the thing:

When she's gone, there doesn't seem to be much point in eating. Or sleeping. Or anything.

Now, don't think I'm moping about, horribly depressed; I'm not. But the basic life-sustaining activities seem pretty pointless when there's no Lady Steed around to do them for.

Also, Time is precious! Must get proposal done! So I can watch movies!

6. The bubonic plague.

(Don't ask.)


  1. I'm really sorry about Lady Steed's great-grandmother. It's good that you guys got to see her one last time a couple weeks ago.

    And I will second the Lady's advice that you continue eating, despite her absence.

  2. .

    But here's the thing---

    There's not much I feel like eating in the house. So I would have to leave the house to get food.

    Then I'll wander around the grocery store thinking everything is either

    a) Too expensive
    b) Too disgusting
    c) Too much work
    d) Too bad for me
    e) Some combination of the above.

    Well. I told her I would buy bread. That should get me by.

  3. I don't know you, but have been enjoying your writings over the past few weeks (stumbled upon the blog while creating my own)

    ANYHOO, *I am a female, *I don't know you, so therefore *you don't owe me a dime, and would be quite interested in helping review your novel.

    My emailaddy is: email4mandi@gmail.com

    PS sorry to hear about Lady Steed's GGM... it hits hard no matter how old you are.

    PSS I completely relate to you being alone and not bothering to eat or sleep, I do the same thing when my husband is away!

  4. I think back in the day I offered to read it, and the offer still stands. I'm not sure how helpful my critique is, since I'm a lot better at pointing out flaws than offering solutions, but hey, that's what friends are for!

  5. .

    I'm flattered that someone unknown has enjoyed my blog when I myself thought it was kind of lousy and I'm also honored that Mandi (who only knows me by my blog) and Nemesis (who read my not-so-good and really-really-long first book) both have offered to read Byuck.

    What a beautiful world.