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Communist death rituals.

Writing stuff: In addition my current novel, I've recently gone back to  working on this history project that I started as a doctoral student at  Michigan State. It's provisionally titled The Communist Cult of the  Dead. I'm currently revising the section on the events surrounding the  death of Nikita Khrushchev.

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Work continues on new novel.

I'm currently working on the epilogue. There are some sections I have to go back and add text to, detail to, etc., but I think this novel is generally 'there'.

So far, it's about half the length of what my first novel ended up being; 250 pages instead of over 500. It could be that a more reasonable length might make it easier to sell to a publisher. 

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The inbetween pant size stage of weight loss . . .

. . . where the current pants and jeans you are wearing look dorky because they're so incredibly baggy, but the size down is still too snug.

I tried some slacks and jeans on out of curiosity but I still haven't lost enough weight to comforably wear the slacks. And there was no way I could even get the jeans buttoned.
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I'm working on the final chapter of my novel . . .

At least, the final chapter of the body of the novel. There's also a postscript. Yesterday the work went very slowly, with me seeming to have to fight for every word I put down on the page. Some days it's like my brain just won't work, or at least very fast, and I have to just plod ahead because that's the time I have to write. It'd be wonderful if every day was such that words and energy just flowed from you, but that isn't how it necessarily happens on many days. In order to produce new text, you have to accept that reality and move ahead, how slowly and clumsily.
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My cats were not amused by their vet visit.

My mom helped me take my cats over to the vet. With cats, getting them into the cage and taking them to the vet can be a two-person job. So, thank God my mom was there to help get them into the cat carrier. I wasn't surprised that Grady was difficult about getting into the carrier, but Justin was too. He usually will jump into the carrier by himself.

Justin meowed the whole time over to the vet, while Grady was silent. Carrying the cat carrier is hard because I put both of them in there together to help keep their anxiety down. Good thing Mom was there to hold doors open for me as I carried them all over the place.

The cats are healthy. Justin is a little heavier and Grady is a little lighter, but within healthy guidelines. I wasn't happy to be told Justin had chipped one of his fangs at the end.

It's weird because the people at this vet office are all very nice and treat my cats very kindly but it seems like my cats get increasingly stressed out with each yearly visit. Justin was pacing and meowing, while Grady was quiet and looked miserable. He hid in the sink and behind the containers on the counter. He even hissed at my mom when she tried to take him out of the carrier, which he never does. When Justin got home, he was wound up, walking around and meowing, which he only does when he's really upset. Grady bolted from the carrier and hid underneath my bed. In about an hour they were acting normally again, but it took a toll on them. Justin was sleeping on the couch, just totally exhausted by the stress of his ordeal.
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I think my novel is headed towards its climax.

Actually, many of these final scenes are written, or at least fragments of them are. I'm just trying to figure out what order they go in and how they link together most effectively.

I usually don't do New Year's Resolutions, but last year I wanted to finish this novel by the end of 2015. I came pretty close. I lost almost two weeks of December to the flu when I was so sick and out of it that I couldn't write.
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Two days without having to use cough drops.

I'm stunned that I've gotten through two days without hardly any coughing and not having to use cough drops at all to stop a coughing jag. I was sick for a month, for God's sake! I was starting to get really fed up with it. As far as I can remember, the longest I've been sick has been for a couple of weeks at most.
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I ended up writing today.

I didn't thing I was going to because yesterday was a frustrating day of writing. After I got down writing yesterday, I just felt like, "Bleh!" It probably isn't surprising if you do a certain activity virtually every day,  there are going to be sometimes when you get sick of it. And I was feeling sick of it.

I finally broke down and went to my novel file. To my surprise, I did indeed have a good time writing. I figured out a way to explain why a character had acted in a certain manner. Thank God because I had to have that character's action in a certain way. I also was able to introduce a new minor character in a way that made a lot more sense than previously.