Racing The Blue Monarch - Lap by Lap Notes

Distractions & Deadlines as the Final Installment Comes Due

August 3, 2015

Tags: Racing the Blue Monarch, Electric Vehicles, Michael J. Daley, golf cart, snowmobile, distraction, deadline, Dickens, manuscript, haying, sping, wine-making, Readercon, Green Living Magazine, Tea Time at the 100 Watt House, Jessie Haas, winter, farm, EV

Now I feel like Dickens must have each week as the deadline for the next entry in his ongoing serial came due. Before this I have had the luxury of a nearly completed manuscript of Racing the Blue Monarch to draw on. But with this final installment, there are a few loose ends...like 2 scenes and the heart of the race sequence. Naturally, six weeks ago, I didn't expect I would be in this pickle. Plenty of time to nail those bits, right? I should have re-read my previous blog entry about distractions.

Recently there have been many, all engrossing in their own way – and sometimes alarming, like having every field on the farm cut at once and the weather forecast changing from a stretch of perfect sun to spots of rain – yikes! Luck was with us on that one and over 500 bales made it into the barn safely. Busy days and anxious, though. Much more pleasantly, it's peak wine-making time. Early spring is leisurely, beginning with a bit of dandelion, then some rhubarb. Then comes the Elder in flower and the raspberries and currants and choke cherries, gorgeous this year at the margin of the hayfield with their deep red clusters almost dense as grapes. Keeping five different batches perking along and meeting unique deadlines for sugaring and yeasting and additions and racking takes some concentration.

The ReaderCon sci-fi conference squeezed in there somewhere and meeting my first journalistic deadline in quite awhile writing an essay for Green Living Magazine. It's called “Teatime at the 100 Watt House” and will appear in the Fall 2015 issue of this always interesting journal of eco-friendly information.

Lastly, but not completely – I can't begin to list all the pleasant other summer distractions, though they fall in the categories of garden, food, walks, and social gatherings – there's the snowmobile. After the deep snows of last winter, Jessie with a hurt ankle, the town tardy in getting to our road, the prius finicky about climbing our hill we found ourselves slogging through the woods to the farm to do the chores. No fun! Grueling, in fact. I also very much missed being able to load up the golf cart at the road and wheel my way the 500 yards or so along our path to the house. Not quite able to figure how to rig that little EV wonder for winter snow use, I decided we could use a snowmobile. Given the theme of Racing the Blue Monarch, there is the irony or maybe even the hypocrisy (not really) of buying this noisy, smelly, dead dinosaur fueled representative of a recreational activity we've always felt ambivalent toward. Of course, we won't be joyriding (unless there is a hidden allure that will awaken unknown passions) but using it as a tool, a workhorse, our winter golf cart. For now, we'll feed it gasoline. I consoled my twinge of guilt with visions of eventually converting it to electric power. It has been done.

As in answer to the thought, I noticed one for sale not far from home and exactly what I was looking for – older model, no bells and whistles, priced right. Now we own it. Something strange about buying a major piece of equipment that you aren't even going to use for another five months! On the other hand, if I could hop on it right now, I wouldn't have a prayer of meeting my Wednesday deadline!

Quick Links


In this follow-up to Space Station Rat (2005), Jeff and his superintelligent rodent friend, Rat, are still stuck in space. Jeff is looking forward to returning to Earth with Rat, but the adults have more sinister plans for Rat. --- Booklist
Details on how to read my 100 watt twitter & about my new solar presentations
Stewart dreams of becoming a rocket pilot like his Mom, who died in a terrible space shuttle accident, but his father is absolutely opposed to his dream. And then Stewart meets an old spacer with a very special mission...
Science Fiction
An escaped, genetically engineer rat; a bored, lonely boy; an evil robot meet on a space station. Someones life is in danger!
Want to cook s'mores using solar energy? Take a bath in sun-heated water? Read Space Station Rat using solar electricity? This is the book for you!