First thing up today was a refresh for A Quartet of Clowns.  This was a simple one that took 30 minutes.  Redid the cover using the same image and the new template. Pasted the story in the new template, and upload it.  Blurb didn’t need any updating.

Then off for an errand that I needed to take care of: Cancelling the gym membership.  With a round of inflation coming—I can already see it in my grocery shopping—I’m looking at small monthly expenses to cut back because those tend to have a cumulative effect that’s not always obvious.  I’m using a coach for bodyweight workouts, so this was an extra expense that I could eliminate.  The gym made it difficult to do the cancellation though—probably how they’re funding the gym.  I had to write a letter and walk it in. 

Other small expenses I knocked out included canceling a subscription for an online market that would have renewed in December, and monthly one for a members only part of a website.  I got what I needed from the latter and he isn’t putting up enough members only content right now to make it worth my money. 

I also took off two subscriptions on Amazon.  I know it’s convenient to have them, but Amazon has a price creep that’s easy to ignore when you subscribe.  One item I subscribed to started at $15, which was much cheaper than locally.  But the price creep now puts it at a little bit higher.  So I figure I can monitor the grocery store for a sale and buy then.  The other one came off because the vendor is offering it with free postage for a subscription.  I’m planning to end Amazon prime when it expires in the next few months.  I’m not using Prime movies (given anything I wanted to watch has an additional cost on top of Prime’s fee), and the free postage isn’t going to add up to the cost of the membership.  I’m essentially saving money by not buying things.

Writing on and off in the afternoon…at least I run into a snag.  This batch of scenes—action scenes—are in a different setting than I’ve used before.  It’s set on a university.  I went out to the University of Maryland to have a look around when I created the scenes….you know, get a better picture of the details in my head.  Glad I did since some of those got into the story in a major way.

I drew a map at the time. But as I cycle through these scenes, it’s obvious I still don’t have the setting as well anchored in my head as I should. Anything with a lot of action, this is especially important and part of the experience. So I wrap up my day making a map.

Original map:

Map of East field, showing construction on the right and school buildings on the right and bottom.

Updated map:

Map of East field, showing Engineering Annex under construction, Joule Hall and L-Shaped Math Building at bottom, Robert C. April Building in the corner.  Chemistry and Engineering on the right.

The new one is a lot more specific, and our lavender aliens have been contributing to the university’s physics department.